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EDITORIAL

Competitiveness of the European construction industry: CEMBUREAU will take action

On 31 July 2012, the European Commission outlined its “Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises”. The Communication acknowledges the economic importance of the construction sector which can significantly influence the development of the overall economy.

Economic Quarterly Report

As in previous quarters, in Q1 2012 the macroeconomic environment in the EU and the euro area continued to be negatively affected by low consumer confidence, ongoing sovereign debt crises and high unemployment rates (which peaked in historical terms in countries such as Spain - 24.6% - and Greece - 22.5%) resulting in weak private consumption and subdued business investment. As a result, quarter-on-quarter growth rate in real GDP in the EU27 was flat, following from the modest 0.3% decrease in Q4 2011. On a yearly basis, real GDP in the EU slowed down compared to what was recorded in Q4 2011 (0.8%), and grew by a mere 0.1%, which has been the lowest rate observed since Q4 2009.

Economic quarterly report Q1 2013

Further to disappointing quarterly developments throughout 2012, latest actual annual GDP data revealed the weakest macroeconomic picture in the EU since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. Equally, according to the latest EU and IMF forecast, economic conditions will prove lacklustre also in 2013, resulting in feeble recovery in some EU economies and continued recession in the EU27, albeit very mild, with considerable heterogeneity in economic performance across countries.

Quarterly economic report: Q2 2013

The latest quarterly real GDP data (Q2 2013) continued to reveal a weak macroeconomic picture in the EU. Actual figures for the first half of the year seem fully consistent with lhe latest EU and IMF forecasts which all predict continued economic recession for the EU and its major economies (with the exception of Germany) in 2013. More particularly, the 0.4% (revised, formerly 0.3%) recession in 2012 was mainly the result of negative factors which, at present, continue to seriously affect overall economic developments: depressed domestic demand and dropping confidence (which were severely affected by the austerity measures undertaken in many EU countries), tight credit conditions, and very low domestic demand from consumers

Quarterly Economic Report – Q4 2013

A clear improvement in the macroeconomic and industrial environment was observed across the EU over the second half of 2013, gaining some momentum in Q4 2013, resulting in overall better annual 2013 figures compared to one year earlier.

Quarterly economic report – Q1 2014

Further to the improvement in the macroeconomic and industrial environment that was observed over the second half of 2013, real GDP growth in Q1 2014 remained in positive territory in the EU (0.3%), albeit rather weakly, with economic performance continuing to diverge amongst individual countries.

With the right regulatory framework, we can play a pioneering role in construction

In its recently published Activity Report for 2012, CEMBUREAU highlights that the world’s cement production in 2012 was estimated at 3.6bn tonnes which is a 3% increase compared to 2011. China experienced a year-on-year increase of +3.6% and now represents 59.3% of global cement production. Without taking into account China, global cement production increased by 1.8% which represented a further slowdown compared to the 2.8% growth rate registered in 2011.

Global Mercury Partnership: delivering actions on mercury

CEMBUREAU’s priorities focus on the need to maintain a competitive environment in which the industry can innovate, both in terms of its processes as its products. Another priority that deserves highlighting, is the strong attention for the potential impact of cement industry’s activities on people’s health and the environment. It is in this respect that CEMBUREAU is an active participant together with the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) to the Global Mercury Partnership through the Cement Manufacture Partnership set up under the auspices of UNEP. The goal of the Global Mercury Partnership is to protect human health and the global environment from the release of mercury by minimizing global, anthropogenic mercury releases to air, water and land.

CEMBUREAU launches roadmap to low carbon future

On 26 September 2013, CEMBUREAU launched its roadmap for a low-carbon European concrete and cement sector in 2050 at an event in the European Parliament kindly hosted by Mr. Karl-Heinz Florenz, Member of the European Parliament. With this document, CEMBUREAU responds to the European Commission’s objective of achieving an 80% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 and clarifies what the cement industry’s contribution can be to achieve that goal. The Roadmap is based on 5 parallel routes that can each contribute to lowering emissions related to cement and concrete production.

Signs of recovery in Europe but we all need to focus on growth, innovation and jobs!

On 5 November 2013, the European Commission published its economic forecast for the Autumn of 2013. The Commission shows itself confident that the structural reforms undertaken in Europe have created the basis for recovery and it sees increasing signs that the European economy has reached a turning point. While real GDP growth is still estimated to be at 0.0 % in the EU in 2013, it is forecast to gather pace in 2014 with a 1.4% increase and in 2015 with an estimated 1.9% growth.