EU GDP falls 2.5%, auto sales down 12%

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Continental Europe is now in its worst recession since World War 2. GDP fell 2.5% in Q1, following a 1.6% fall in Q4. Germany, often viewed as the ‘motor’ of the eurozone, saw its GDP fall a shocking 3.8% as markets for its export-driven economy dried up.

Central & Eastern Europe were badly hit by the collapse of their markets in W Europe – Slovakia’s GDP was down 11.2%.

Meanwhile, European auto sales fell 12% in April versus 2008. Since New Year, the market is now down 16%. And this was in spite of an 18% rise in German sales, which have been temporarily stimulated by the ‘cash for bangers’ policy (where 1.2 million people have so far each received €2.5k when trading in an old car for a new one).

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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