ECSC financial report 1976
European Coal and Steel Community
In 1976, steel production in the Community (134 million tonnes) was only slightly higher than the very low level of 125 million tonnes recorded in 1975 and fell far short of the figure of 15 6 million tonnes which was reached in 1974. For the Community as a whole, the rate of utilization of capacity did not exceed 63%. Although the early months of 1976 were marked by an improvement in the general level of economic activity, the growth rate was already deteriorating before the middle of the year. Apart from contracting export markets, the main causes of this loss of momentum were the continuing weakness of the propensity to invest and the declining rate of growth of private consumption. This situation was reflected, as in 1975, in a drop in demand from the steel-using industries. Both in the Community and in third countries, there was a considerable cutback in new orders, which reverted at the end of 1976 to the lowest levels recorded in 1975. As deliveries ran ahead of new business, the steel producers' order books were drastically thinned. To make matters worse, the reduced activity of the steel-using sectors was amplified by excess stocks which could not be quickly absorbed. On the other hand, the rate of coverage of internal Community requirements by im-ports from third countries has doubled since the beginning of 1975, to almost 12% in the last quarter of 1976. This development has not been counterbalanced by a more sustained performance on the export side, where the continuing contraction is having an adverse effect on the balance of trade.
Number of pages38p.
DescriptionSections are bookmarked. Blank pages and photos have been removed.