The average daily output of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.6 percent lower in March than twelve months previously, after an increase of 1.1 percent in February. Production decreased for the first time in over two years.
With a drop of 3 percent, output decreased by most in the textile industry. This sector’s contribution to Dutch manufacturing output is quite modest, however. The metal industry and the paper and publishing industry generated respectively 2 and 0.5 percent less output than in March 2007. On the other hand, output did increase in food processing, the chemical industry and in manufacturing of wood and building materials.
Seasonally adjusted figures provide a more reliable picture of short-term production developments. Monthly figures not adjusted for seasonal effects are often somewhat erratic. Therefore, the two-month average compared with the previous two-month average is preferred. After correction for seasonal effects and the number of working days, manufacturing output was nearly 1 percent down in February-March on the period December 2007-January 2008.