Europes economic freeze is showing signs of gradual improvment

Europe's economic freeze is showing signs of gradual improvment

Scandinavian automotive supplier body, FKG, says Europe is "coming back" as fledgling economic recovery across the Continent gathers pace.

Europe - particularly southern Mediterranean countries - has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn which some have estimated as echoing the depression of the 1930s - but increasing signs of a bounce back are becoming more evident.

"I would say it is a bit like business as usual," FKG managing director, Fredrik Sidahl, told just-auto from Gothenburg. "We just made our fifth survey over how suppliers see the future [and it is] rather optimistic and positive.

"Europe is coming back, the UK is really coming back, but it is not a hockey stick. We are not back on the level we were in 2008, not for at least SEK30bn [US$41.5bn] to SEK40bn in turnover, which is a lot.

"2012 turnover was in the region of SEK150bn in the supply industry and we were nearly SEK200bn before the financial crisis. We are coming back slowly and we have done this for one and a half years."

The FKG chief added membership of the supplier association had now risen to 450 - "a lot" - with adherents covering most of the Swedish component industry.

"I am rather optimistic for the future," said Sidahl. "I don't think the cycles will be as dramatic from the depths or the peaks.

"We are picking up again, but slowly. At least for this year and I guess for the next."