Kazuo Fujisawa: Economic growth in developed countries to slow down in 2019

Thursday, 08 November 2018 15:42:34 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Speaking at the "New Horizons in Global Steel Markets" 13th Annual Conference organized by SteelOrbis in Istanbul on November 8, Kazuo Mike Fujisawa, corporate planning manager at Japan-based JFE Steel Corporation, said that economic growth in developed countries is expected to slow down in 2019, while the outlook for emerging economies is mixed. He pointed out that the Chinese contribution to global investment growth is diminishing. He also named some uncertainties on the horizon such as rising trade tensions, normalization of monetary policies in the US and the EU, and geopolitical tensions. He warned that more import restrictions will make tradable commodities less affordable.

Mr. Fujisawa shared worldsteel figures with the conference participants, indicating that global steel demand is expected to rise by 2.1 percent in 2018 and by 1.4 percent in 2019, adding that steel demand in China is expected to remain flat in 2019. However, he also said that steel demand in China is still better than expected.

As regards Japan and South Korea, the JFE Steel official said that steel demand will remain at the same levels in 2018 and 2019, while steel demand in the ASEAN region has been growing steadily. He added that high steel demand growth is observed in India and is forecast to increase at a high pace of 6.0-6.5 percent to 113 million mt by 2022 and to 300 million mt by 2030. On the other hand, in the EU, steel use is gradually increasing, while in the US steel use is expected to grow moderately.

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