In the second quarter of 2002 the output of the manufacturing industry was more than three percent lower than in the same quarter twelve months previously. Production by the Dutch manufacturing industry has been declining since the second quarter of 2001.
Heavy weather for metal sector
The metal, electrical engineering and transport equipment sector has suffered the heaviest blows. Output in this sector has fallen steadily in the last six quarters. In the second quarter of 2002 production fell by nearly eight percent.
Within the sector, electrical engineering has borne the brunt of falling output. In the first quarter of 2002 production dropped by around 19 percent. The value of orders received also decreased sharply.
In the branch that manufactures metal products, falling production levels have been accompanied by a decline in orders. Other branches within the metal industry are confronted by lower output, but this seems to have slowed down since the first quarter of this year; the order books show the same pattern.
Production by chemical industry picking up
The chemical industry is the only sector of manufacturing that escaped the downward trend. In the chemical industry, production only fell in the third and fourth quarters of 2001. In the first two quarters of 2002 production in this sector picked up again.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)