Source: iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

© iStock.com/Tony Tremblay

According to the Federal Statistical Office , output in the goods-producing sector rose by 1.2% in July compared with the preceding month. The industrial sector reported a 2.8% increase, whereas construction output dropped by 4.3%. Developments within industry presented a mixed picture. While output in the automobile and automotive component industry rose by 6.9%, the mechanical engineering sector registered a 3.9% decline.

Due to the noticeable recovery that followed in the wake of relaxations of April’s harsh lockdown restrictions, the two-month comparison between June/July and April/May reveals a 13.8% increase in output for the goods-producing sector. While industry recovered by 17.9%, output in the construction sector remained virtually unchanged (+0.1%).

After the first signs of recovery in May, the production sector continued to grow in July, albeit at a slower pace. In industry, output had reached almost 90% of the level it had been at in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Improved business sentiment and declining numbers of short-time workers are indicative of a continuing recovery which will, however, take quite some time.

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[1] Press release by the Federal Statistical Office of 7 September 2020.
[2] All figures are based on provisional data and have been adjusted for price, calendar, and seasonal factors (X13 JDemetra+ procedure).