Trends in the chemical industry
- Growth somewhat weaker than in 2013
The chemical industry (excluding pharmaceuticals) grew at 4%, in keeping with the dampened dynamic of its key customer industries and somewhat more slowly than in the previous year (+4.5%). Our original forecast of +4.4% had been slightly higher.
After stagnating in 2013, production in the European Union increased only slightly overall. The United Kingdom, France and the eastern E.U. countries provided growth impetus. Chemical production in Germany declined, however, primarily as a result of decreases in the production of basic chemicals. Growth in the United States was as high as in the previous year; at 2.7%, it was considerably higher than in Europe. In Japan, the economic downturn led to a slight decline in chemical production. The chemical industry’s growth rate in China, the largest chemical market in the world, continued at a high level. Growth was nevertheless around one percentage point slower than in the previous year due to the weak overall economy.