Europe car sales show positive signs with an increase of 4.4% in August versus last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
This is the first positive reading for more than a year, a sign the sector is reaching stability.
But while the increase was encouraging, total numbers remained substantially below pre-pandemic levels.
Moreover, with data having been negative for more than a year, the comparison is against a low base.
Nonetheless, from a polymer industry perspective, in September the picture remains mixed.
While some suppliers note a recovery after the summer holidays, many suggest ongoing poor performace.
A backlog of orders created during supply chain issues may be providing some support in some markets, including automotive.
However, increases in energy bills for consumers will most certainly negatively impact spending on many goods in the near term, including cars.
A looming energy crisis fuelling inflation increased the risk of a recession in Europe. As such, the outlook for overall demand for engineering polymers remains negative for the rest of the year and in 2023.