Together with the presentation of the European Semester Spring Package, Ceemet has launched its Chief Economist Report 2021. Ceemet’s Chief Economists Group analysed the figures for the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based (MET) sector, providing precise insights of a sector that is one of Europe’s industrial powerhouses.

The consequences of the pandemic that hit the global economy did not spare the MET sector.

With the value of production decreasing by 11%, Europe’s industry is experiencing the worst industrial crisis since World War II. The other parameters being productivity, investment and cost of labour give a similar picture concluding that the competitiveness of European industry is challenged.

Despite all these challenges Europe’s MET sector managed to (slightly) grow employment levels to nearly 17.5 million. Within the overall group of workers in manufacturing industries, the MET sector workers represents the majority of 51%.

EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni stated during the presentation of the Spring European Semester that the post-pandemic world will be a different one. But labour market policies need to be ready to adapt to these changes while keeping pace with the requirements of the digital and green transformation.

Digital and Green transformation in danger

There is an agreement amongst Ceemet’s Chief Economists that in order to achieve the objectives to move toward a digital and green transformation investment levels need to increase, after they unsurprisingly dropped in 2020.

By 2022 they estimate that industry investments could go up to a level of €130 billion, but this will not be enough to ensure a successful twin transition.

Employers are getting ready to do their part to boost innovation and productivity, but it will require an effective Next Generation EU with (National) Recovery and Resilience Plan(s) to do the same and create economic growth.


The Chief Economist Report 2021 is also available as online publication.


Ceemet Chief Economist Report 2021 - Investment levels need to increase for recovery
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