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Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on EU industries

The COVID-19 crisis has had an abrupt impact on the EU27 economy and triggered unprecedented
policy responses across Europe and the globe. As the pandemic is still unfolding globally, and at the
time that a second (and potentially even a third) wave still keeps Europe and the world in its grips, it is
too early to assess the full impacts of this crisis. Nevertheless, to support policymakers with evidence
on the effects on the EU industry manifested so far, this report aims to address the following key
1) What is the impactof COVID-19 on the EU economy, and how is the impact distributed among
different sectors?
2) What structural changes has the crisis caused to our economy and the organisation of our
value chains, and which value chains should be considered as strategic?
3) How comprehensive are the recovery measures, and to what extent they are meeting the
needs of the EU industry?
1) The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the EU economy
Compared to the global economy, the euro area has experienced a larger hit in 2020 and will
experience a slower recovery in 2021. The real GDP is expected to reach pre-crisis levels by mid-2022
in both the EU and the euro area. This is a positive adjustment of the outlook as compared to the initial
forecasts that followed the start of the pandemic. However, it is important to note that a return of the
economic activity to pre-crisis levels entailsslow growth for the EU economy.
There are remarkable differences in performance across, but also within sectors. A large part of
the digital industry has performed well, and so has the healthcare industry. Enabling industries like
chemicals, construction, and the food and drinks sector are likely to experience a V-shaped recovery
from the crisis. Despite the initial shocks, automotiveand textile industriesappear to be on a recovery
path since the first lockdowns. Sectors that are dependent on human contact and interaction, such
as the cultural and creative industries and the aerospace industry (due to the decrease in mobility
and tourism activities), have experienced substantial

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