Industrial Production data for January 2017

26th March 2017

Bottom line:  The recovery in industrial production that began a few months continued to deepen and broaden in January. In particular, production in high-tech sectors is expanding and export sales — mainly but not only from high-tech — are rising strongly.

 

Specifics:

  • Production in the industrial sector, which includes manufacturing, mining & extraction and quarrying, expanded at an annual rate of 9.3% in the three months through January 2017, compared to a rate of 5.6% in the previous three months (ending in October) and compared to a 1.6% increase over full-year 2016.
  • The strongest rate of gain was posted in the medium-high technology sector, which includes the chemicals and metals industries. This sector expanded at a 14.6% annualised rate in November-January, vs only 1.1% in the three months ending in October.
  • The high technology sector also improved sharply, from a rate of only 0.4% (annualised) in August-October to 6.3% in November-January.
  • All four industrial sectors, as defined by levels of technological intensity posted gains in November-January.
  • The number of employees in industry increased only at a marginal rate (0.8% — the same as in the preceding three months).
  • However, hours worked increased at a 1.6% annualised rate in the latest three-month period, after stability in the previous three months.
  • The high-tech sector underperformed the overall industrial sector: the number of employees remained stable in November-January, as it had in August-October, and the average number of hours worked was also unchanged, after falling at a 0.4% rate in August-October.
  • Sales to the domestic market, both overall and in high-tech, grew in November-January, but at a slower pace than in the previous three months.
  • Export sales, however, soared at a 17.5% annualised rate, quadruple the rate in the previous three months — and in sharp contrast to the 5.4% drop recorded for the whole of 2016.
  • High-tech export sales climbed at a 15% clip, after falling by almost 8% in 2016.

 

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