BERLIN, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The second quarter of 2019 was "disappointing" for the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry, the German chemical industry association (VCI) announced on Wednesday.
"The recovery of German industry overall, which was anticipated for the second half of the year, is not materializing," VCI President Hans Van Bylen explained.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, production in Germany's third largest industry in 2019 fell by 8.8 percent and was down 0.7 percent over the last quarter.
According to the VCI, the main reason for this decline was the state of Germany's entire industrial production, which had declined for the fourth quarter in a row and had caused "weaker domestic demand for chemicals."
At 48 billion euros (52.9 billion U.S. dollars), sales for the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry stagnated at the previous quarter's level while domestic sales in Germany even declined by 1 percent due to the "weak industrial economy".
According to VCI, fewer orders were also received from the European market. For this reason, international business was able to grow "only slightly in general".
"At present, the companies are no longer expecting German and European chemical business to pick up," acknowledged Van Bylen.
The VCI predicted a 6 percent decline in production for the German chemical and pharmaceutical industries in 2019 and expects sales to fall by 5 percent to around 193 billion euros.
Despite the weak figure, the number of employees in the German chemical industry remained stable. According VCI, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry was currently employing 464,800 people, an increase of 0.5 percent over the previous year.