Welcome to 2013! What does this year hold in store for us?
Business forecaster IHS has issued a “cautiously upbeat outlook” for the economy this year. In its Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2013 the company forecasts that the growth rate of the world economy will hold steady at 2.6% in 2013.
It predicts that there could be a modest acceleration of growth in the latter part of the year and during 2014.
IHS also forecasts that the US recovery will gradually pick up steam, with growth averaging around 2% in 2013, while European growth will be weak in the north and negative in the south, which on balance will mean a contraction of around 0.2% for the Eurozone economy.
China’s economy is expected to pick up momentum, with growth of around 8% in 2013, and the outlook for emerging markets is also looking better, especially in the ASEAN economies. (Read the complete story here.)
And what can we expect for the composites industry? Some existing trends that look set to continue include:
- further collaborations in the automotive (carbon fibre) composites arena;
- a continued focus on the aerospace sector (the Airbus A350 XWB will make its first flight this year);
- innovations in wind turbine blade design and manufacture as turbine makers strive to lower the cost of wind power;
- continued pricing pressures (related to raw materials and energy costs); and
- more work on demonstrating the ‘green’ credentials of the composites industry (sustainabilty, recycling, and life cycle assessments).
The first 2013 issue of Reinforced Plastics has just been published. We look forward to bringing you all the latest composites news as its happens throughout the year.
Amanda Jacob is the Editor of Reinforced Plastics magazine.