BRUSSELS—European chemical output grew just 0.3 percent during the first four months of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, according to the latest Cefic Chemicals Trends Report published last week.
Producer prices fell 6 percent, year-on-year, said the report adding that sales were down 5.2 percent during the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period of 2014.
Cefic's latest monthly data show output growth of 0.7 percent in April 2015 compared with April 2014, while European Union chemicals prices plunged 4.9 percent.
Confidence in chemicals, however, increased in May 2015 compared to April of the same year, mainly as a result of production expectations for the months ahead.
The EU net trade surplus for chemicals narrowed to $10.8 billion during the first quarter of 2015, down by $1.4 billion compared to the same period one year ago.
“These figures show that the real economy is still not growing. In Europe, we need EU policymakers to start walking their talk on competitiveness, jobs and growth,” Cefic director general Hubert Mandery said in a statement.