During 2018, the performance of the international economy was characterized by the slowdown and lack of regularity in the growth of several advanced economies. At the end of the year, several elements (Brexit, the trade war between the United States and China, the collapse of the oil price) accentuated the perception of a more imminent slowdown in the economy.  Overall, the growth rate of the economies of industrialized countries was 2.1% against 2.3% the previous year.

In the Euro zone, the pace of economic expansion has fallen more than expected. GDP growth, which stopped at 1.9%, on the one hand was sustained by domestic demand, while on the other, it was contrasted by the strong deceleration of world trade which weakened the foreign component of the demand itself.

The economic slowdown in Europe also affected the demand for rail transport.

In the passenger sector, the demand for mobility increased by 0.3% in terms of travellers km. Among the most important railway companies, the German DB AG stood out for a 3.3% growth followed by the Spanish Renfè SA, with an increase in traffic volumes of about 3%. The French SNCF is down, with a 5% decrease.

In the freight sector, traffic volumes stood at values similar to those of 2017, despite the marked decline in European industrial production (-3.3%). Among the major railway companies, negative traffic rates were recorded in terms of tons km for the German DB AG (-6%) and for the Spanish Renfè SA (-5%). On the other hand, the traffic volumes of the French SNCF are on the rise (+ 4%).

Source: 2018 Financial Report