Turnover in the manufacturing industry was 3 percent lower in the period July-August 2002 than in the same period last year.
According to Statistics Netherlands, both domestic and foreign sales fell by 3 percent. In the second quarter, too, turnover fell by 3 percent, slowing down from a 6 percent decrease in the first quarter. According to the business sentiment survey held in August, manufacturers remain optimistic about production in the period September to November 2002.
Small effect of selling prices
The effect of selling prices on the development in turnover in the Dutch manufacturing industry was small in July-August. Although selling prices have been rising continually since January 2002, prices in July-August were still 0.3 percent lower than twelve months previously: 0.1 percent lower on the domestic market, and 0.4 percent lower, on the foreign market. Prices of intermediate consumption by the manufacturing industry were on average 2.2 percent lower than at the same time last year.
Lower turnover in nearly all branches
Nearly all branches in the manufacturing industry had lower turnover in July-August this year than last year. In terms of value, turnover fell by most in the metal, electrical engineering and transport equipment industry. This branch accounted for nearly half the fall in turnover of the total manufacturing industry. For the petroleum, chemical and rubber industry the decrease occurred mainly in the petroleum industry.
Only in textiles, clothing and leather was turnover up; within this branch textiles manufacturers were the main contributors to this increase.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)