Sustained growth manufacturing output in December

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© ANP / Roger Dohmen
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.7 percent up in December 2016 from December 2015. The growth rate was higher than in November. Over the past fifteen months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously.

The growth rate for December completes the annual series. Subsequently, the rate for the entire year 2016 can also be calculated. Manufacturing output over 2016 was 2.4 percent up from 2015 and the highest growth rate in five years.

Chemical industry accounts for highest output growth

Output generated by the chemical industry was 15.4 percent up. Output generated by the rubber and plastics industry was more than 13 percent above the level of December 2015. Production growth in the electro-technical and machinery industry was also above average. Output generated by the sector metal and pharmaceutical products declined relative to December 2015.

Average daily output by sector
 % change
Chemical products15.4
Rubber and plastic products13.2
Electrotechnical products8.6
Food products3.8
Transport equipment2.2
Metal products-0.9
Pharmaceutical products-12.9
Manufacturing (total)4.7

Altogether, the industries referred to in the above graph account for approximately 70 percent of total manufacturing output.

Positive trend manufacturing output

Figures adjusted for seasonal effects and the working-day pattern provide a more reliable picture of short-term output developments. From November to December 2016, manufacturing output grew by 1.4 percent.

Adjusted for seasonal variation, manufacturing output shows an irregular pattern with many ups and downs, but since mid-2014, the overall trend has been upward.

Producer confidence improves further

A few weeks ago, CBS reported that confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved further in January, mainly because manufacturers were more positive about their order books.

Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were somewhat less optimistic in January than in December, in particular about their projected output. The average daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was lower in December 2016 than in December 2015.

The numbers in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.