Source of picture: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/
By John Richardson
GROWTH in Europe isn't going to return to 2008 levels before 2012, said BASF CEO Jurgen Hambrecht on the release of the German diversified chemical giant's financial results for last year."
Overall, there are no signs of a self-sustaining, long-term recovery. We are still significantly below the capacity utilisation rates that were seen ahead of the crisis," he added.
"(We expect) the majority of growth to come from the emerging economies in Asia, especially China, and from South America.
Stimulus programmes are being wound down, credit is becoming tighter, excessive national debt is leading to austerity measures, the number of jobs is falling and overcapacities still exist.
"There are further risks associated with geopolitical tensions and a trend towards protectionism."
Whenever anybody tries to talk-up the recovery story over the next year, these words will be worth returning to as a crucial reality check.