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 fell by 0.6% in December compared with the preceding month. [2] Industrial production declined by 0.7%, and construction output by 1.7%. Demand for goods in the area of energy generation grew by 1.4%. Within industry, manufacturers of intermediate goods recorded a rise of 1.5%, whilst the production of consumer and capital goods declined by 0.5% and 2.6% respectively.

This means that output in the goods-producing sector was up by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Industrial output grew by 0.9% . Mechanical engineering made a positive contribution, while car production was lower than in the previous quarter. Construction output was scaled back again in the final quarter of the year (-1.0%).

Industrial output developed very dynamically in the course of 2017 but recently lost some momentum. The fourth quarter was significantly weaker than the three previous quarters. Nevertheless, production is clearly on an upward trend and, given the high volume of new orders in December and the positive business sentiment, industrial output is expected to grow strongly in the coming months. The weak development of the construction sector in recent months is continuing.


[1]Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 7 February 2018.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar day and seasonal factors (Census X-12-ARIMA).