Manufacturing output up in January

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.5 percent up in January 2017 from January 2016. The growth rate was considerably lower than in December. Over the past sixteen months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously. The strongest growth was seen in the machinery industry.

Strongest production increase in machinery industry

Output generated by the machinery industry was 11.3 percent up in January from January last year while output rose by 11.2 percent in the sector transport equipment due to increased production of passenger cars. Production in the chemical and rubber and plastic products industry saw above-average growth as well. On the other hand, output generated by manufacturers of metal products, food products, electrotechnical equipment and pharmaceuticals declined relative to January 2016.

Average daily output by sector
 % change
Transport equipment11.2
Chemical products9.4
Rubber and plastic products2.2
Metal products-0.5
Food products-2.5
Electrotechnical products-4.5
Pharmaceutical products-6.8
Manufacturing (total)1.5

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

Manufacturing output shows positive trend

A more accurate picture of short-term output developments is obtained when figures are adjusted for seasonal effects and the working-day pattern. After adjustments, a drop is seen in the manufacturing output in January of 2.6 percent on the previous month.

Production in general has been at a historically high level over the past few months. 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.

Producers more confident again

A few weeks ago, CBS reported that confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved further in February; manufacturers are more positive about their order books in particular. Producer confidence has reached its highest level since March 2008.

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were also more optimistic in February than in January, in particular about present production levels. Average daily output by German manufacturers was 0.6 percent higher in January 2017 than one year previously.

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