Governments worldwide have plans to spend billions of dollars to stimulate local economies. From incentives to encourage consumer spending on automobiles to massive infrastructure programs, many of these measures hold the potential to significantly affect the global metals industry. However, the benefits to date for the steel sector will unlikely be seen until late 2009 at the earliest, according to a new report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's (Deloitte) Global Manufacturing Industry Group. In the report, Regional perspectives: Global metals outlook, a panel of metals industry leaders from Deloitte member firms around the globe comment on the various economic stimulus efforts in some of the largest metals-producing countries, including the developed economies of Japan, South Korea, the European region, and the United States as well as the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

You could call it a rolling start, says Claude Martin, global process sector leader for Deloitte's Global Manufacturing Industry Group, about the recovery in the metals sector. It was one of the industries hit first by the downturn, but unfortunately will also be one of the last to get out. A jump-start in other sectors such as automotive and construction will need to occur before we see a rebound in the metals industry.

With the G-20 meeting in London starting today, the world is watching closely to see if further actions will be pledged by governments to restore growth and stabilize economies and the impact these may have on industries like the metals sector.

The protectionist stances in some of the economic stimulus plans have cast a cloud over the meeting. While these measures may help to kick-start domestic growth, in the long run it could have negative consequences on industry competition, explains Nicholas Sowar, global steel leader with Deloitte's Global Manufacturing Industry Group.

 The report highlights that demand is still growing in certain emerging markets, and these areas could lead the recovery.  For example, in China, a number of the ten stimulus measures recently announced by the government relate to metals-either directly or indirectly-including automotive, ship building, steel, and non-ferrous metals sectors.

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