Although general mood in the chemicals and plastics industry continues to cool down, companies all over the world are beginning to become more optimistic regarding future development, according to the latest Ceresana Industry Monitor (CIM).
However, structural problems in some states as well as the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone continue to hamper strong economic recovery. Despite this, expectations for the future are optimistic in all world regions as improvement is expected by more decision makers than is a worsening.
In all branches, the majority of interviewees is still satisfied with the current business situation. This evaluation also is independent of company size. Despite evaluation of the current situation bring decidedly more negative than in the survey of previous fall; the CIM barometer rises due to predominantly optimistic expectations. With regard to the current situation, Ceresana has established a value of 6.5 points. Yet experts at Ceresana are forecasting the negative tendency to continue until upcoming spring; even though in considerably weakened form.
Every fourth company interviewed by the market research and consulting institute Ceresana rates current demand for its products as being good and more than half are still satisfied with the situation. The majority intends to respond by increasing production volume accordingly; also because they expect growth to occur in their respective markets.
The largest growth potential is forecast for the domestic markets, usually due to advantageous local conditions. Every third panel member is expecting advantages of local conditions to persist, only about every fifth is anticipating a decline. In their strategic development, companies are focusing more on quality leadership than cost leadership. “Additionally, the persistent economic crisis resulted in a rethinking within the companies. Now they increasingly take preventative measures in order to be prepared for future economic downturns,” explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana.
Most common financial measure in preparation for future crises is the reduction of material costs and personnel expenditure. More than 60% regard product innovation as suitable preventative measure while more than half of the panel members believe customer care and loyalty to be indispensable for future success. The CIM fall survey was carried out from October 29 to November 9, answered by decision makers of all sizes of companies from 44 countries.