Gas-intensive sectors (excluding the power sector) account for roughly 6% of GDP in the EU. Because these sectors are situated at the beginning of many supply chains, a drop in production will cause all kinds of second-round effects in other sectors due to higher input costs and supply shortages. Some companies in the EU have already (partially) curtailed production at industrial sites in Europe (e.g. Yara, Aldel). In the event of higher prices and further gas rationing, more companies will do the same. Still, demand for these intermediate products or finished goods will not disappear so it will lead to higher import demand. Energy-intensive production of chemicals can be done elsewhere and the products – fertiliser, for example – can be bought abroad. This will negatively affect GDP but will mitigate the second-round effects in supply chains.
Of course, these are not the only sectors that will be hit. Via the purchasing power of households, many others will also be affected via lower demand. Sectors oriented toward consumers, especially those providing luxury goods for lower-income households, are likely to suffer too. While a deteriorating economic situation is negative for every sector in the longer term, there are some sectors which are likely to experience increased demand for their services, including shipping, mining and renewable energy, as well as subsectors within business services (like industrial contracting). The longer the higher energy prices in Europe last, the more pressure it puts on competitiveness in Europe. The current situation is an incentive for investment in production capacity in energy-intensive industries in other regions such as North America or the Middle East.