The turbulences in the world economy are affecting the European business of chemistry. The financial crisis in the USA, the higher energy costs, and the stronger appreciation of the Euro against the US$ are generating negative effects on production growth of the EU chemicals industry. Output in the EU chemicals industry (excluding pharmaceuticals) has started to decline since March 2008, and output declined further in April 2008 by 1.3% compared to April of 2007. All chemicals sectors experienced relatively the same negative trend in April where output declined in the range of 1.0 to 1.9%. Pharmaceuticals are the only exception where output grew positively. Chemical products (excluding pharmaceuticals) were 5.3% more expensive in the first four months of 2008 than the same period of 2007.The mix of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the robust Asian demand and investment traders in the commodities markets has swelled oil prices to untenable levels for many energy-importing economies. The chemicals confidence indicator for the EU reached relatively the same level as in April and is still slightly above the long-term average. By contrast, confidence in the manufacturing sector decreased further in May. The economic climate for Europe and the world is experiencing a renewed decline. In May, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased further in the EU and stands below its long-term average. According to the latest Results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES), the World Economic Climate has worsened further in the second quarter of 2008, the indicator having fallen to its lowest level in six years. (Refer the slides below for more details)