Manufacturing industry stable in March

In March 2004 production and turnover of the Dutch manufacturing industry, after correction for seasonal effects, were about the same as in February. The production per working day was 1 percent down on March 2003, whereas turnover per working day was 1 percent up on last year according to provisional figures by Statistics Netherlands. Export developments are an important indicator for the economic development as a whole.

Higher turnover in March due to extra working days

In March 2004 turnover of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 8 percent up on March last year, mainly due to two extra working days compared to March last year. Statistics Netherlands estimates that two extra working days result in a 7 percent higher turnover. Turnover per working was 1 percent higher. Turnover on the domestic market was 9 percent higher, turnover abroad 8 percent.                                                                                                             All branches of industry realised a higher turnover. The most substantial turnover increase was observed in oil, chemicals, rubber and metal products.

Slight improvement in first quarter

After correction for working days, production in the first quarter of 2004 was virtually equal to the same period one year previously. Since the third quarter of 2001 production was continually below the level of the previous year. The stable quarterly production is mainly the result of a high production in January.

Turnover in the first quarter of 2004 was 2 percent up on last year. This is also caused by an extra working day in the first quarter of 2004. The increase follows a series of three quarters in which turnover was below last year’s level.

The metal industry recovered remarkably in the first months of 2004. Both production and turnover, for the first time since the third quarter of 2001, were not below the level of the previous year. In paper and printing the upward trend of the last six months of 2003 was sustained. Production and turnover increased compared to the first quarter of 2003.

Corrected for seasonal effects, production as well as turnover were higher in the first quarter of 2004 than in the last quarter of 2003. Turnover increased by 3 percent, production by 1 percent.

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