The Decoupling of GDP and Steel Demand: Cyclical or Structural?
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∙ In the 2000s, global steel demand growth consistently surpassed global GDP growth. The dip in global steel demand after 2012 can be mostly explained by the slowdown in global investment and exports. China shifted its growth strategy from investment and exports to consumption as President Xi Jinping took power in November 2012.
∙ The decoupling of GDP and steel demand will last for the time being on several aspects: global investment and exports, raw materials prices forecast, mega trend (aging populations, the sharing economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution), and major forecast institutions’ prospects. Just as the decoupling of global GDP and steel demand persisted until China emerged as a new growth engine for steel demand after the early 2000s, there is a possibility that the decoupling will repeat. The global steel industry should prepare for this.