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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.

Open letter to the newly elected European Parliament

Competitiveness, carbon leakage, energy and the circular economy. Four priorities for the four months to the end of 2014. As the newly elected Members of the European Parliament, your voice will be instrumental in taking forward proposals in these areas. Therefore, we take this opportunity of providing you with our view on these priorities.

Quarterly economic report – Q2 2014

The economic cycle bottomed out in Q2 2013 and rose in H2 2013 - yet ongoing austerity measures, deflationary pressures, low consumer and business confidence and slowdown in exports have resulted in rather weak H1 2014 macroeconomic figures.

Cement, concrete & the circular economy

All eyes are currently on the circular economy package launched by the European Commission ahead of the summer recess. The package draws together a wide variety of proposals, from waste recycling and energy recovery to resource-efficient buildings.

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.