Manufacturing output 0.2 percent down in December

In December 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.2 percent down on December 2019. This is the smallest contraction after January 2020, when output was 1.4 percent higher than one year previously.

Average daily output manufacturing (volume)
jaarmaandchange (year-on-year % change)
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-0.6
2019February-0.1
2019March-0.8
2019April-0.3
2019May-0.9
2019June-2.5
2019July0
2019August-1.7
2019September1.2
2019Oktober0.5
2019November-1.6
2019December-1.2
2020January1.4
2020February-0.9
2020March-1.9
2020April-10.9
2020May-12.1
2020June-9.7
2020July-4.9
2020August-3.8
2020September-6.6
2020October-4
2020November-2.7
2020December-0.2

Output growth in around one-third of the industries

In December, approximately one-third of the industries saw their output grow on an annual basis. Of the industries within manufacturing, the chemical industry recorded the strongest output growth. This important industry recorded higher year-on-year production for the sixth month in a row.

Average daily output manufacturing (volume) by sector, December 2020
Categorychange (year-on-year % change)
Chemical products8.5
Electrical and electronics7.5
Transport equipment5.3
Rubber and plastic products1.6
Food products0.1
Machinery-1.2
Metal products-5
Repair and installation of machinery-25.1
Manufacturing (total)-0.2
Altogether, the industries referred to in the above graph account for approximately 75 percent of the total manufacturing output

Manufacturing output recovers in fits and starts

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, an increase of 0.5 percent is seen in manufacturing output between November and December.

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. A low point was reached in May 2020. After that, output picked up again, but was still almost 4 percent lower in December than in January 2020.

Seasonally adjusted average daily output manufacturing (volume)
jaarmaandindex (2015=100)
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
2019January109.6
2019February109.2
2019March108.8
2019April108.9
2019May108.5
2019June107.3
2019July107.5
2019August107.8
2019September109.5
2019October109.7
2019November108.4
2019December106.5
2020January109.8
2020February107.8
2020March106.5
2020April97.6
2020May96
2020June98.5
2020July102.6
2020August103.4
2020September103.1
2020October105.2
2020November105.3
2020December105.8

Dutch manufacturers positive on average in January

In January 2021, confidence among Dutch manufacturers was positive again for the first time since April 2020. This the highest level since March 2020. Manufacturers were more positive both about their order position and about future output.

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. According to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute, producer confidence deteriorated in January 2021 for the first time in nine months. This was mainly because expectations of future output deteriorated significantly. However, opinions on the present level of business activity improved. In December, the average daily output generated by the German industry contracted by almost 2 percent year-on-year, as reported by Destatis.

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