Outlook for key customer industries

We expect the following developments in key customer industries in 2014:

  • At 3.7%, growth in global industrial production above previous year’s level (+2.5%)
  • Transportation: significantly stronger growth than in 2013
  • Energy and resources: growth marginally ahead of the previous year
  • Construction: slight upturn in growth
  • Consumer goods: stronger growth; robust growth in the electrical and textile industries
  • Electronics: considerable acceleration in growth
  • Health and nutrition: continuing solid growth
  • Agriculture: growth at previous year’s level

Considering the general economic upswing forecasted, we expect higher growth rates in global industrial production than in the previous year (2014: +3.7%; 2013: +2.5%). Industrial production in the emerging markets will likely continue to grow significantly faster (+5.2%) than in industrialized countries (+2.3%).

We expect the transportation sector to grow considerably faster than in the previous year. In the Asian emerging markets and in Eastern Europe, we forecast a significant increase in automotive production. In Western Europe, however, the automotive industry is likely to further shrink, but at a slower rate than in the previous year.

Growth in the global energy and resources sector is expected to be higher than in 2013. We anticipate a somewhat stronger increase in the demand for energy and resources as a result of accelerating growth in industrial production.

In the construction industry, we also expect a slight upturn. After a major slowdown in construction activity in Europe in recent years, we expect the market to shrink only slightly overall in 2014. However, the differences within the European Union will still be great: We predict a continuing decline in Spain, Italy and France, whereas we anticipate growth in Germany, the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. The upturn in the American housing market will likely continue. In the emerging markets of Asia and in South America, high growth rates are expected in infrastructure investments.

We expect the consumer goods industry to grow faster in 2014 than in the previous year. Production is likely to increase slightly in industrialized countries, with especially positive momentum coming from Japan and the United States. By contrast, we anticipate only a slight increase in Europe. Growth in the emerging markets is expected to moderately accelerate. We anticipate robust growth overall, especially in the electrical and textile industries, whereas production in the paper industry will likely increase more moderately.

We forecast significant growth in the electronics industry, which is typically very cyclical. We expect the electronics industry to enjoy strong growth, especially in the emerging markets of Asia but also in Japan and the United States. In Europe, however, only slight growth is predicted.

We expect the health and nutrition segment to continue to grow solidly in the emerging markets in 2014. We anticipate high growth rates in the emerging markets, but not significantly higher than in the previous year. However, we expect growth to accelerate in the industrialized countries.

We foresee robust production growth in agriculture, matching the level of the previous year.