# Manufacturing output 3.5 percent up in March

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.5 percent up in March compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in February. For two and a half years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in March 2018 was seen in the pharmaceutical industry again.

## Strongest production growth in pharmaceutical industry

Output generated by the pharmaceutical industry was almost 17 percent up in March relative to the same month in 2017. The industries producing machinery, electrotechnical products and transport equipment recorded above-average output growth as well.

Average daily output (volume) by sector, March 2018
change (year-on-year % change)
Pharmaceutical products16.6
Machinery12.1
Electrotechnical products6.7
Transport equipment4.3
Food products3.2
Rubber and plastic products2.7
Chemical products1.1
Metal products0
Manufacturing (total)3.5

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 decrease is seen in the manufacturing output in March of 0.1 percent on the previous month.

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.

Seasonally adjusted average daily output manufacturing
index (2010=100)
2014A104.3
2014M101.8
2014J100.2
2014J103
2014A102.4
2014S102
2014O102.1
2014N102.6
2014D102.1
2015J103.1
2015F103
2015M102.2
2015A102.5
2015M103.4
2015J103.6
2015J103.3
2015A101.5
2015S102
2015O104.7
2015N104.4
2015D104.4
2016J106.1
2016F103.5
2016M104.7
2016A106.6
2016M106.2
2016J106.4
2016J105.5
2016A105
2016S106.2
2016O106.4
2016N107.7
2016D108.9
2017J106.7
2017F108.7
2017M108.5
2017A108.3
2017M110.3
2017J110.1
2017J109.3
2017A110
2017S111.8
2017O111.4
2017N113.5
2017D114.4
2018J114.1
2018F113
2018M112.9

## Manufacturers again less confident

Confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 8.2 in April, down from 9.5 in March. However, the confidence indicator remains well above its long-term average over the past two decades.

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Confidence (i.e. the IFO index) dropped in April for the third consecutive month. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was over 4 percent higher in March year-on-year.

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