New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

JAPAN-SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOT ELDERLY

Robear is helping to revolutionize the manufacturing industry: do robears prefer China or Europe? (source: HuffingtonPost)

Adidas has announced that it will open its first all-robot factory in Germany, and many will follow in rich countries. Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple products fired 60,000 employees and employed robots instead of them. It seems this is the beginning of the end.

The way we manufacture products is about to change dramatically in the next decade. There are two intertwined trends that have already started to revolutionize the industry: the digitisation of industry (or the “takeover of robots”) and that global economic growth is less and less energy and machinery-intensive (more and more value added comes from services). None of these are new; however, both of these trends are in front of a new era of growth. Developments in big data and machine learning are increasing the capabilities of robots and global value chains are becoming seamless. Economic growth is coming increasingly from services, as opposed to manufacturing. Moreover, growing concerns about climate change and the ongoing shift away from heavy machinery in state-of-the-art manufacturing are leading to the growing use of lighter materials instead of metals. Continue reading New manufacturing is coming: Europe or China will be the new China?

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The Do-It-Yourself guide to success in Central Eastern Europe

Are you a motivated social engineer in CEE? Do you want to change the country you live in? Or you are just interested, what could be the most successful strategy on the periphery of Europe? You are at the right place. Please, welcome the D-I-Y Guide to CEE!

In this post, we first define success in CEE. Second, using the Global Competitiveness Report, we analyze what aspects could help a country achieving that success. And third, we present you the ultimate D-I-Y Success Guide to CEE. Continue reading The Do-It-Yourself guide to success in Central Eastern Europe

EECFA countries in the European Commission (EC) 2016 Spring Macro forecast

The Spring Forecast of the European Commission has been released, and it covers EECFA member countries: Russia, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bulgaria, it only lacks Ukraine from the EECFA’s coverage. The EC forecast is intensively used in the EECFA reports for assembling the macro-economic environment, and also as a demand driver in specific segments. For example, consumption leads the demand for commercial buildings in the long run, or office sector’s employment drives the need for office buildings.

In this short note we are presenting the key facts about the EECFA countries in the Commission’s report, looking at how macro forecasts have changed since 2015 Autumn.

GDP

Chart 1 GDP growth forecast of EECFA countries and the EU (average 2015-2016-2017) Source: EC

Chart 1 presents the general economic outlook in the relevant countries – GDP growth from 2015 until 2017. Turkey leads the group with a close to 4% growth, even better prospects than in autumn. Romania and Bulgaria perform better than the EU average. Serbia and Croatia are lagging behind, while Russia is in a serious recession period in the forecast horizon.

In most of the countries of the region, economic outlook has improved since the latest forecast in Autumn 2015. The biggest change in the expectation was in Bulgaria, where forecasted GDP growth increased from 1.7 to 2.5 percent between Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016. Despite the positive outlook of EECFA, we can’t be optimistic regarding Russia where GDP is likely to shrink in the next 2 years; moreover, the rate of decrease has surged since Autumn 2015.

GFCF

Chart 2 The Gross fixed capital formation growth, and if available the building construction growth (average 2015-2016-2017) Source: EC

As it can be seen on chart 2, gross fixed capital formation growth is high in EECFA, which can be explained by the GFCF’s pro-cyclical characteristic. Serbia and Romania have the biggest GFCF growth rate among the examined countries, where GFCF is set to go up between 6.8-7.8 percent. In Turkey and Croatia the estimated growth is between 2.5-3.8 percent; in Slovenia and Bulgaria growth can be between 0-2 percent. The only country where GFCF declines is Russia; the expected shrinkage is near 4 percent.

Written by Aron Horvath, PhD, Head of Research, EECFA, ELTINGA