Welder symbolizes the development of production in the manufacturing sector; Source: iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

© iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

According to the Federal Statistical Office [1], output in the goods-producing sector expanded strongly in January, by 2.8% compared with the preceding month, following a similarly large drop in December. [2] Industrial production rose by 3.7%.

Output in the construction sector fell by 1.3% compared with the preceding month.

In the two-month comparison of January/December against November/October, which is less susceptible to fluctuation, industrial output dropped by 0.7% and construction output by 2.3%. Production of consumer and capital goods also declined. The output of intermediate goods grew slightly, by 0.2%.

Overall, output in the goods-producing industries made a good start to 2017. It was able to make up for the clear drop at the end of 2016, which had presumably been caused by public holidays, and is higher than the average for the fourth quarter of 2016. Following a very strong final quarter, new orders in the manufacturing sector were weak in January. However, the survey-based indicators continue to signal a good business climate. Overall, therefore, industrial output is likely to continue to increase.

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[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of March, 8th 2017.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar-day and seasonal factors (Census X-12-ARIMA).