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 September compared with the preceding month.[2] While industrial output decreased by 1.3%, construction output grew by 1.8%. Within the industrial sector, the manufacturers of intermediate and capital goods recorded stronger declines (-1.3% and -1.5% respectively) than the manufacturers of consumer goods (-0.5%).

The third quarter saw a similar development. The decline in industrial output (-1.1%) slowed slightly compared with the preceding quarter. Construction output remained at the level of the preceding quarter (0.0%). The period of weak growth in industry affects a broad range of sectors. Output fell in key sectors including chemicals (-2.3%), metal products (-1.6), electrical equipment (-2.2%), machinery (-0.8%), and vehicles and vehicle parts (-2.8%).

The weakness in the industrial sector has not yet been overcome. The recent slight improvement regarding new orders and business expectations, however, has slightly brightened the outlook for the fourth quarter.

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[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 7 November 2019.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar day and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).