In December, the average daily output of Dutch manufacturing industry was over 13 percent down on December 2007. In all branches of manufacturing industry output was lower than twelve months previously. The slump in December 2008 was the largest ever monitored. In November, the average daily output was nearly 6 percent down on November 2007.
There is a relation between output decline and the lower utilisation rate of the output capacity available. The most recent figures on utilisation rate based on the Economic Survey already suggested a further reduction in manufacturing output.
Output was reduced across all branches of manufacturing industry. With a turnover loss of nearly 1 percent, food, drinks and tobacco proportionally achieved the best results. Output in the metal industry dropped sharply by more than 17 percent; in the petroleum, chemical and rubber industry the reduction was nearly 22 percent.
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-monthly average compared with the previous two-monthly average is a more accurate indicator. After correction for seasonal effects and the number of working days, manufacturing output declined considerably by almost 7 percent over the period November-December compared with September-October. A reduction of this size is unprecedented.
Throughout 2008, manufacturing output declined by just over 1 percent. In 2007, manufacturing output was more than 3 percent higher than one year previously.