14 March 2002 16:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (CNI)--BASF said Thursday its US business has received increased orders from the construction sector at the beginning of the year compared with previous months.
Peter Oakley, member of BASF's executive board of directors, said orders had been boosted by an upturn in the construction sector in the US caused by the unseasonably warm weather in January and February. He did not know how much of the increase could be attributed to the seasonal conditions and how much to a long term upswing in the US economy.
BASF is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2002. Chairman Jurgen Strube said total order books for the first two months of 2002 were showing an increase compared with previous months. He said he had no way of telling if the increase was due to companies increasing inventory or to increased end consumer demand.
However, although this improvement is encouraging, orders for January and February were lower than for the same period last year, Strube stated. It was fortunate that consumers in the US had continued spending since 11 September, he said, but spending levels were unlikely to continue to increase.
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