European Additive Manufacturing Survey, Spring 2022: CECIMO has published the results of the Spring survey of the European market for Additive Manufacturing (AM). This bi-annual survey covers machinery, products, materials and services in the AM sector and the UK element was carried out by MTA/AM-UK.
The latest results pointed to strong growth expectations for both domestic and export markets over the coming six months. By materials type, composites and metals are expected to have the strongest growth profile with plastics and ceramics at a lower level.
Looking at the analysis by type of activity, the strongest growth in the domestic market is expected to be in AM products & produced parts, with AM services, machines and materials all also positive but at a slightly lower level. In all cases, however, the indicator is lower than in the Autumn 2021 survey.
For exports, we see a similar pattern with growth strong but slightly below the Autumn 2021 level; however, in this case, three categories are at a similar level with AM materials a little behind the others.
Looking at the customer markets, the strongest growth is expected to be in the medical sector with the aerospace, automotive and machinery industries also seeing strong orders growth.
There was an improvement in investment expectations which drove the Am confidence index to 69.5, its highest level in the four survey history of the project.
You can find out more about these results and download the CECIMO report from the AM-UK website at https://am-uk.org.uk/key-market-trends-in-the-european-additive-manufacturing-sector-june-2022-edition/. The website generally is the place to keep up with all the latest developments in the AM sector in the UK.
European Commission Economic Sentiment Indicator, May 2022: The European Commission (EC) draws from a range of surveys to construct confidence indicators for six sectors of the economy and then uses five of these (financial services is not used) to calculate its Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI). Also, although labelled as “May 2022”, the data collection period was during the month so the data really refers to April.
There was a small fall in the ESI for the EU as a whole, although the reading for the Euro-zone was broadly the same as in the April dated survey. The fall in the ESI in the EU was mainly due to weaker confidence in the industry sector although there was a smaller reduction for consumers; the confidence indicator for services, retail trade and construction were virtually flat. Financial services confidence, which is not part of the ESI calculation, fell sharply.
The weakness in the industry sector came mainly because the survey respondents’ assessment of current order books saw the sharpest fall for two years. Expectations about production in the coming three months weakened slightly and the measure of stocks of finished products was unchanged compared to the previous survey. Although not used in calculating industry confidence, the survey also notes that export order books and the assessment of output over the previous 3 months both fell significantly.
There is a range of trends among the major economies in the EU with the overall ESI for the Netherlands and to a slightly lesser extent Poland falling while it was up only marginally in Germany; Italy saw a modest improvement, the reading for France was higher and there was a sharp rise for Spain. Of these countries, only Poland had an ESI below the long-run average.
The base for the ESI is the long-run average (since 2000) and it is useful to see where countries are in relation to the base level. In the latest reading, the ESI was below the long-run level for Belgium (sharp fall compared to April), Bulgaria (slightly worse), Czech Republic (up from April but still below 100), Denmark (down sharply), Estonia (down significantly), Ireland (modest reduction that took the latest reading below 100), Cyprus (improved but still negative), Latvia (down slightly), Luxembourg (slipped back below 100), Austria (down sharply), Poland (down slightly but has been negative for 3 months), Slovenia (fell back sharply to below 100) and Slovakia (up sharply but still just below 100).
The survey also includes the EU candidate countries and, again, there is a mix of trends with the ESI for Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey all below the long-run average but Albania saw a sharp rise that took it just into positive territory.
You can download the EC report and statistical annex from their web-site at https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/indicators-statistics/economic-databases/business-and-consumer-surveys/download-business-and-consumer-survey-data/press-releases_en or you can request it from MTA.
European GDP, 1st Quarter 2022: In an update published this week, Eurostat has upgraded its estimate of growth in the 1st quarter to +0.6% for the Euro-zone (+0.3% in the previous estimate) and +0.7% for the EU (from +0.4%).
This means that compared with a year earlier, the Euro-zone economy is estimated to have grown by +5.4% (was +5.1%) and in the EU as a whole by +5.6% (up from +5.2%). Eurostat estimates that the Euro-zone economy is now 0.8% larger than before the pandemic (Q4-2019) while the EU is +1.5% ahead of the equivalent level. For comparison, they note that the USA is +2.8% higher than at the end of 2019.
This latest release now includes the data for all of the EU Member States for the 1st quarter of 2022. This shows three economies that contracted in the latest period – Sweden (-0.8%), France (-0.2%) and Denmark (-0.1%), with the Dutch economy at the same level as in the previous quarter. As these economies all grew in the 4th quarter of 2021, none of the EU Member States are in recession; however, Norway comes closest having had zero growth in Q4-19 and a decline of -1.0% at the start of 2022.
The fastest growing economies in the latest period were Ireland (+10.8%, but this follows a fall of -6.2% in Q4-21), Romania (+5.2%) and Latvia (+3.6%). For the other large economies, there was growth of +0.2% in Germany, +0.1% in Italy and +0.3% in Spain.
For more details, you can download the Euro-indicators report from their website at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/euro-indicators (08 June).