Manufacturing industry hit hard by economic recession

09/06/2009 15:00

The economic recession has hit the European manufacturing industry particularly hard. In the Netherlands, however, the manufacturing sector has suffered less than average. The manufacturing industry in the Netherlands is smaller compared with other countries in Europe.

Economic growth per sector of industry, 2009-I

Economic growth per sector of industry, 2009-I

Dutch manufacturing decreases by less than average

The economy of the EU-27 shrank by 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same quarter last year. The manufacturing industry, in particular, has been dealt a heavy blow: production was more than 17 percent lower than twelve months previously. Dutch manufacturing decreased by 14 percent in the first quarter of 2009. In Germany, it deceased by around 22 percent.

New manufacturing orders, March 2009 compared with March 2008

New manufacturing orders, March 2009 compared with March 2008

Sharp drop in new orders

The number of new orders in the manufacturing industry in Europe, an indication of future production, has been falling steadily since October 2008. In March the number of new orders in the European Union was 25.5 percent lower than twelve months previously. The fall was largest in Slovenia. In the Netherlands, the number of new orders was just over 26 percent lower than twelve months previously.

Share of manufacturing in the total economy, 2007

Share of manufacturing in the total economy, 2007

Relatively little manufacturing in the Netherlands

Most East European countries have a relatively large manufacturing sector. The Czech Republic stands out in this respect: manufacturing there accounts for more than one quarter of gross domestic product (GDP). Among the older member states, Germany and Finland have relatively large manufacturing industries. The Netherlands, where manufacturing accounts for 14 percent, is one of the countries with a relatively small manufacturing sector. 

Linda Koeman