The full 2Q14 quarterly economic report from Cembureau can be downloaded here.
Cembureau reports that the economic cycle bottomed out in 2Q13 and rose in 2H13, but ongoing austerity measures and low confidence has resulted in a rather weak 1H14. Real GDP growth in 2Q14 was just 0.2%, with economic performances continuing to diverge among individual countries. Some economies that had previously observed a degree of recovery reported declines or stagnation (e.g. Germany -0.2%). In Italy, GDP dropped for the second consecutive quarter, signaling economic recession. In Spain, GDP growth gained momentum (+0.6%), resulting in four successive positive quarters.
Cembureau states the latest short-term indicators of economic activity were disappointing, with declines in confidence reported in Germany, France and Italy. Add to this mounting political tensions and expectations for economic growth in 3Q14 and for GDP growth this year are on the decline.
Risks for the euro area’s sustainability have been reduced since the European Central Bank announced ‘unprecedented’ measures to tackle economic stagnation. However, there continue to be concerns of possible deflation scenarios in the EU, much uncertainty and a further call for action from the ECB.
In terms of industrial production, the recovery in 2Q14 lost ground in Germany and France and fell further in Italy, while Spain showed signs of recovery and a pronounced recovery of construction production. Cement manufacturing production indices in 2Q14 show a similar picture to 1Q14 – i.e. diverging performances among countries and a substantial improvement in Spain.
This is an abridged version of the Cembureau ‘Highlights’ of the 2Q 2014 quarterly economic report, prepared by Katherine Guenioui. The full highlights can be found here and the report can be downloaded here.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/09092014/european-cement-association-issues-2q14-economic-report-447/