According to the latest preliminary figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch manufacturing industry produced 3.0% less in the period July-August than during the same period last year. The decrease during summer was comparable with the decrease in production during the first six months of the year. However, Statistics Netherlands did not only observe decreases, there are also branches of industry that show signs of recovery.
Lower production decrease in metal during this summer In the period July-August Dutch manufacturing industry produced 3.0% less than a year ago. The decrease is especially great in the paper and printing industries and in metal, where production was down over 6% on a year ago. The drop in the metal industry is a lot smaller, however, than in the previous two quarters. The metal industry is responsible for about a third of the total industrial production.
When production in the oil, chemical and rubber industries is compared to the year before, it showed an increase for the ninth month in a row during August. This branch accounts for over a fifth of total industrial production, moreover it is usually a front-runner ahead of the business cycle.
In the textile, clothing and leather industries production in July-August was higher than a year ago for the first time. The other branches of industry manufactured less than in the same period of 2001.
Tentative recovery during the first six months not stabilising
During the first six months of this year industrial production started to show signs of a modest recovery for the first time again after the previous six-month period. This recovery did not continue during the summer months, however. The seasonally corrected production figure for the period July-August was down 2.2% on the first half of the year.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)