According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, turnover in the Dutch manufacturing industry was 5 percent lower in the first quarter of this year than twelve months previously.
Turnover from domestic sales fell by 6 percent while turnover from exports was 5 percent down. Nearly all sectors of manufacturing realised a lower turnover. The fall of total manufacturing turnover is largely the result of a 3.9 percent reduction in selling prices. The first quarter also had one working day fewer this year than last year. The negative effect of this is estimated to be 1.5 percent.
Turnover decrease levelling out
The fall in turnover in the first quarter of 2002 is smaller than in the last quarter of 2001, when it was 8 percent lower than twelve months previously. Earlier this year Statistics Netherlands reported a slight improvement of producer confidence in March. One of the reasons for this improvement was that manufacturers expect production to increase in the second quarter.
Turnover down in March
Manufacturing turnover was 5 percent lower in March than in the same month last year. The fall in turnover on the domestic and on the export market were about the same size. Two factors influenced turnover negatively in March 2002: on the one hand selling prices were 3.9 percent down on last year, on the other March had one working day fewer this year. The negative effect of this is an estimated 4.5 percent. Nearly all branches of manufacturing had a
lower turnover; the food industry was the only exception.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)