Shortage of plastics affected the EU

The shortage of plastics, semiconductors and metals affected the production of the Euro Zone, according to a report from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Overall, supply chain bottlenecks continued to limit the region’s output in the manufacturing sector during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Material, equipment and space shortages have risen to record levels since the second quarter, with widespread reports of supply bottlenecks for semiconductors, metals and plastics, along with ongoing transportation disruptions.

The shortage has been particularly acute in the industrial sector, restricting growth to just 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in industry excluding construction, and contributing significantly to a 0.6% contraction in the construction sector in the third quarter of 2021.

Shortage of plastics

By contrast, contact-intensive consumer-facing services grew strongly, supported by continued easing of containment measures and high levels of consumer confidence.

But supply disruptions, energy price increases and new restrictions on activity related to the resurgence of the pandemic in some Eurozone countries are estimated to have weighed on activity in the last quarter of the year.

For the ECB, the increase in coronavirus (Covid‑19) infection rates since the end of November, the reintroduction of containment measures in several Eurozone countries and the growing concern about the Omicron variant are likely to weigh more on the ECB. confidence and short-term activity.

In 2021, long lead times for final products such as automobiles and rising freight rates, coupled with shortages of intermediate inputs (such as chemicals, wood, plastic, metals and semiconductors), put a strain on growth. of exports of goods from the Euro Zone.


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