European consumers remain very wary about the future. The slide above, from the monthly CEFIC report, shows that fear of unemployment is THE major concern. Almost half the population, a net balance of 44.3%, worried about this in December (yellow column), only slightly fewer than in November (blue column).
This concern creates a major headwind for overall consumer confidence, which remains negative (left hand data). Equally, more people now expect the economic situation to get worse over the next 12 months (centre columns), with the total now at a net -7.5%. In turn, this makes it likely that their discretionary spending, a key demand driver for many chemical products, will remain weak.