Manufacturing output 2.5 percent down in March

© Hollandse Hoogte / Frank Muller / Zorginbeeld
In March 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.5 percent down on March 2019. Output showed a year-on-year decrease of 1.3 percent in the preceding month, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Average daily output manufacturing (volume)
jaarmaandchange (year-on-year % change)
2016March2.3
2016April4.4
2016May2.7
2016June3.2
2016July3.3
2016August2.4
2016September2.3
2016October0
2016November3.4
2016December6.7
2017January0.4
2017February4.9
2017March3
2017April0.5
2017May5
2017June2.4
2017July2.7
2017August3.7
2017September4.8
2017October5.1
2017November5.3
2017December4.4
2018January7.5
2018February3.2
2018March3.8
2018April4.7
2018May2.9
2018June3.3
2018July0.9
2018August4
2018September1.7
2018October2.4
2018November1.3
2018December-4.3
2019January-0.5
2019February-0.1
2019March-0.8
2019April-0.2
2019May-0.9
2019June-2.5
2019July-0.2
2019August-1.4
2019September1.2
2019Oktober0.6
2019November-1.6
2019December-1.2
2020January1
2020February-1.3
2020March-2.5

Production growth in machinery industry

Of the eight largest industries within manufacturing, the machinery industry recorded the highest output growth. However, most industries saw their output decline on an annual basis. The transport equipment industry reported the largest year-on-year decrease. A number of companies in this industry completely shut down their factories on 19 March.

Average daily output manufacturing (volume) by sector, March 2020
Categorychange (year-on-year % change)
Machinery15.7
Food products0.3
Electrical and electronics-0.5
Metal products-2.7
Chemical products-5.1
Repair and installation of machinery-5.5
Rubber and plastic products-10.5
Transport equipment-22.4
Manufacturing (total)-2.5
Altogether, the industries referred to in the above graph account for approximately 75 percent of the total manufacturing output

Downward 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 manufacturing output between February and March of 1.0 percent. 

Adjusted for seasonal and working-day effects, manufacturing output is seen to fluctuate significantly. From mid-2014 until the beginning of 2018, the overall trend was upward. Subsequently, the trend has been downward.

Seasonally adjusted average daily output manufacturing (volume)
jaarmaandindex (2015=100)
2016April103.4
2016May102.1
2016June103.3
2016July102.9
2016August101.7
2016September102.3
2016October102.5
2016November105
2016December106.3
2017January103.1
2017February105.5
2017March105.2
2017April104.6
2017May106.6
2017June106.1
2017July106.1
2017August105.6
2017September107.3
2017October107.7
2017November109.7
2017December110.4
2018January110.5
2018February109.4
2018March109.4
2018April109.4
2018May109.6
2018June109.3
2018July107.6
2018August109.3
2018September109.1
2018October109.6
2018November110.2
2018December107
2019January109.5
2019February109.2
2019March108.8
2019April109
2019May108.5
2019June107.2
2019July107.6
2019August107.8
2019September109.5
2019October109.7
2019November108.3
2019December106.5
2020January109.6
2020February107.7
2020March106.6

Historic drop in producer confidence

In April, producer confidence plummeted to its lowest level since the start of the producer confidence survey in 1985 on account of the global response to the COVID-19 crisis. This was by far the largest decline ever measured. The historic drop was especially visible in expected industrial output, which tumbled to an unprecedented level. In March, there were still slightly more positive than negative entrepreneurs.

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. According to the IFO Institute, in April the Business Climate Index fell to its lowest level since March 2009. Similar to the Netherlands, it was the strongest monthly drop in confidence ever recorded. In March, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was 14 percent lower than in the same month last year. This is reported by Destatis.

The figures for the reporting month of March reflect the effects of the coronavirus outbreak to a limited extent. Producer confidence in March was just positive.

The figures published in this news release are provisional and subject to revisions.

Sources

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