Manufacturing, construction and agriculture curb economic growth

10/11/2003 10:00

The disappointing economic growth of 0.2 percent in 2002 was caused mainly by unfavourable results of companies in the sectors manufacturing, construction and agriculture. These tempered growth by 0.4 of a percent point. Mineral extraction, and energy and water companies on the other hand had a positive effect on economic growth, although only marginally so.

Contribution of gods producers to economic growth

Strongest decline for electrical engineering

In 2002 the production volume of manufacturing companies was 2.1 percent down on 2001. This makes 2002 one of the worst years for the manufacturing industry in the last decades.

The decrease was mainly caused by electrical engineering (10 percent down on 2001), with more and more production being moved to low-wage countries, and the sharp drop in sales of ICT products.

The chemical industry did well in 2002, on the other hand. Production volume in this sector rose by 2.6 percent. This was caused by the increased sales of base chemical products, the strong increase in the demand for paint from abroad and a substantial increase in consumption of pharmaceutical products.

Lower production for agriculture and construction

The production volume of the construction industry fell by 3.6 percent, as many clients (especially companies) have postponed plans for new construction. The is the strongest fall in production volume in the construction industry since 1982.

The production volume also dropped sharply in agriculture. The main cause of this was the decrease in exports of ornamental plants to Germany and lower livestock numbers. The number of pigs in particular fell considerably, resulting in a lower production level for pork.

Production volume and generated income, 2002

Lower income for agriculture and mineral extraction

Goods producers in all sectors except agriculture and mineral extraction benefited from an improvement in the terms of exchange.

In agriculture and mineral extraction, factory prices were on average lower than 2001, and in these sectors this was not compensated by similar falls in prices of intermediate consumption. This meant the generated income fell substantially.

Income in the manufacturing sector also decreased, because of a smaller production volume.

For energy and water companies income grew noticeably, by as much as 21 percent. Higher selling prices contributed to this.

Ron van der Wal