In the wake of a sharp rise in GDP of nearly four per cent in 2010, cement consumption in Germany is expected to stabilise in the current year at around 25Mt. Because of this positive trend and particularly hopeful signs in the housing and commercial buildings sectors, the industry expects a growth of 2.2 per cent in 2011.
In the first nine months of 2010, cement industry turnover decreased slightly by about 3.4 per cent. However, local producers have kept employment of largely stable.
The performance of individual segments of the construction sector still vary. While housing - starting from a low level – is clearly showing an upward trend and new orders in the commercial sector have increased again significantly, the situation for road construction continues to be poor. Although investment funds have been significantly expanded for transport through government economic stimulus packages, local investments in this area are declining. Dr Schneider noted that in 2011, with the expiry economic programmes, infrastructure spending will suffer. It remains to be seen as to how much growth in the residential and commercial sectors will offset these losses.