The turnover of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 6% down in February on the same month last year. According to Statistics Netherlands lower selling prices (-4.5%) are the main reason for the decrease.
Manufacturers sold 8% less on the domestic market, while exports were 4% down. Just as in January the fall in turnover was smaller than in the last quarter of last year. In the firsts two months of this year turnover was 5% lower than in the first two months of 2001. In the last quarter of 2001 it was 8% lower than in the same period in the previous year.
Earlier this year, Statistics Netherlands reported that producersâ€™ confidence was unchanged in February, and that they expect production to increase in the period March to May.
Turnover down in most sectors
Most sectors of the manufacturing industry realised a lower turnover in February. The petrochemical industry saw a substantial drop. Lower selling prices had a significant impact in this sector.
For the metal, engineering and transport equipment sectors, too, turnover was down substantially, while selling prices in this sector were up slightly.
Turnover did rise in some sectors however: the largest increase was in the food, drinks and tobacco industry,
partly because of higher prices. In paper and publishing, too, turnover was up, while prices in this sector remained about the same.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)