09 November 2012 11:33 [Source: ICB]
New forecasts released by the European Commission suggest that the eurozone economy will more or less flatline in 2013 after suffering a recession in 2012.
Its autumn forecast predicts 0.4% GDP contraction across the eurozone for 2012, followed by 0.1% growth for 2013 and a rather optimistic 1.4% expansion for 2014.
Unemployment is expected to remain stubbornly high, hovering at just over 11% in 2012-2014. In Spain the situation is more dire, with overall unemployment rising from 25% in 2012 to 26% in 2013-2014. People, institutions and governments are simply not spending as they try to reduce leverage in the aftermath of the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The stubbornly high unemployment rate is also hampering economic growth. Last week saw a total of 10,000 job cuts announced across Europe in manufacturing and banking.
Implementing even deeper austerity plans in Greece is proving unpopular with its population. Around 100,000 people turned up to protest in Athens last week as €13.5bn ($17.3bn) of new cuts were voted through.
European chemical producers are right to be cautious in their outlook for 2013. The euro crisis is far from over and 2013 is shaping up to be just as tough for the region as this year has been.
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