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"Weak Recovery" Expected for Europe

By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi CSCP, CPA, CAE - November 09, 2012

APICS Operations Management NowAs the United States gets back to work after the elections, the European Commission announced Wednesday its economic forecast__and things don’t look as rosy as they did in the spring.

According to the New York Times, “the figures represent a significant downgrade of expectations.” The commission expects real gross domestic product will decline by 0.3 percent in the European Union and 0.4 percent in the euro zone. In 2013, small growth is predicted, with an increase of 0.4 percent in the EU and by 0.1 percent in the euro zone.

“Our projections point to a gradual improvement in Europe’s growth outlook from early next year,” says Olli Rehn, EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs. “Major policy decisions have laid the foundations for a strengthening in confidence. Market stress has been reduced, but there is no room for complacency. Europe must continue to combine sound fiscal policies with structural reforms to create the conditions for sustainable growth to bring unemployment down from its current unacceptably high levels.”

The commission expects unemployment to peak next year at almost 11 percent across the European Union and at 12 percent in the euro area.

The New York Times article quotes James Nixon, chief European economist in London for the global bank Société Générale, who suspects the growth is overestimated in the report. “It’s going to be a tough couple of years.”

Supply chain and operations management in the global economy

For some of you, news of Europe’s economy may seem very remote; for others, the situation might be something in which you are operating every day. Regardless of who you are or where you work, we all work in a global economy, and Europe’s woes have reverberations everywhere.

Consider the following definition of “global boundaries” as it appears in the APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge (OMBOK) Framework: “In the global economy, operations management has become borderless as it touches on processes that span supply chains around the world. Global sourcing requires collaborative global planning, and the extended supply chain requires global logistics planning and execution. Knowledge of other nations’ laws, customs, and business practices is of growing importance in operations management.”

APICS seeks to give you tools to navigate this complex business world. First, consider the APICS Dictionary, 13th edition. This key resource helps give you and your colleagues around the world a common supply chain and operations management language.

Next, consider attending an APICS conference. Planning is underway for multiple APICS events, including APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations 2013, April 4–5, in Mumbai, India, and the Best of the Best S&OP Conference Europe, May 16–17, 2013, in London, England.

In this global business economy, it's essential to have opportunities to talk to your peers face to face. To learn more about upcoming APICS educational and networking events, visit apics.org/events.

Continue the discussion on the APICS Supply Chain Channel.

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