Last Update:
March 1, 2012

Outlook for key customer industries

We expect the following developments in key customer industries in 2012:

  • Growth in global industrial production (+4.1%) slightly below previous year’s level
  • Transportation: production volumes in the automotive industry to grow worldwide compared with previous year
  • Construction industry: somewhat stronger global growth, thanks largely to positive developments in emerging markets
  • Consumer goods sector: year-on-year growth weaker overall despite positive impetus from the electrical industry
  • Electronics industry: solid growth in semiconductor and ICT sectors
  • Health and nutrition, as well as agriculture: robust growth worldwide

Growth in global industrial production will likely be slightly slower in 2012 (+4.1%) than it was in 2011. In the industrialized countries, we expect the pace of growth in production to match the previous year’s level. In the Asian emerging markets, by contrast, we assume that growth will slow down somewhat.

In the transportation segment, we expect automotive production to grow more quickly than in 2011. Especially in the emerging markets of Asia, we anticipate increasing demand, which will strengthen local production. In Japan, the unexpected production outage of the previous year is likely to be compensated for. According to our forecasts, automotive production in the United States will continue to grow.

We anticipate that growth in the global energy and resources sector will remain robust in 2012.

For the construction industry worldwide in 2012, we forecast somewhat stronger growth than in the previous year, driven mainly by the emerging markets of Asia and South America. In Europe and the United States, the construction industry overall is likely to grow only marginally faster than in 2011. We expect reconstruction following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan to provide a boost to the country’s building sector.

For 2012, we forecast weaker growth overall for the consumer goods industry than in the previous year – despite positive impetus from the electrical industry, which is developing strongly, especially in Asia. We expect ongoing high growth rates for the textiles industry in emerging markets, while growth should continue to weaken in most industrialized countries. Global production in the paper industry is likely to stabilize thanks to rising demand from the emerging markets of Asia.

In the electronics industry, we assume that semiconductor production and information and communication technology (ICT) will continue to post solid growth. In Europe and the United States, however, we expect weaker growth than in the previous year.

In the segment health and nutrition we anticipate that global production growth will be somewhat stronger than in 2011.

The agriculture sector is likely to experience robust production growth worldwide in 2012.

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