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European Chemical Group Cefic Cuts 2012 Forecast on Car Slump

Cefic, a European chemical association that represents 29,000 companies, cut its forecast for 2012 chemical output a second time as a slump in the automotive and construction industries erode demand.

Chemicals production in Europe will shrink 2 percent this year compared to 2011, the Brussels-based association said in an e-mailed statement today. In September, Cefic had predicted a contraction of 1.5 percent and in June it said it expected zero growth. Cefic also today forecast output expanding 0.5 percent in 2013.

“The domestic market continues to struggle and overseas competition remains relentless,” Kurt Bock, president of Cefic and chief executive officer of BASF SE, said in the statement. “Policy makers need to continue to work towards putting Europe on better economic footing to help us move out of this difficult period.”

Carmaker Daimler AG and voltage-equipment maker Schneider Electric SA have reduced forecasts as consumers and governments rein in spending. BASF’s Bock said in September that the chemical maker’s mid-term profit targets are “challenging.”

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