July 15, 2020

Industrial production sinks 10.2% in March, its biggest slump in three years




The General Industrial Production Index (IPI) it fell 10.2% last March in relation to the same month of 2019, its biggest decrease since April 2017, as a consequence of the health crisis and the closure or less activity of many industrial companies after the declaration of the state of alarm in mid-March, as reported on Friday the National Statistics Institute (INE).

With the year-on-year collapse in March, industrial production returns to negative rates after rising 0.1% in February. Corrected for seasonal and calendar effects, industrial production sank 12.2% yoy in March, its biggest drop since September 2009, when it registered a decrease of 13%.

In monthly rate (March over February), industrial production also experienced a double-digit decline, in this case 11.9%.

The entry into force of the alarm state caused many companies closed in mid-March or reduce the intensity of their production. The data collection for this statistic was carried out in April, at which time some establishments were closed, which has led the INE to contact by email and telephone, similar to the previous months.

The response rate of the informants to the data in this survey has exceeded 80%, so Statistics considers that the quality of the indicators for March is similar to that of any other month, both in the national data and in the autonomous communities.

All industrial sectors cut production last March, especially durable consumer goods (-24.6% year-on-year) and capital goods (-24.1%). They are followed by intermediate goods (-9.7%), energy (-1.7%) and non-durable consumer goods (-1.4%).

The activities that most reduced their production in March in the interannual rate were the manufacture of motor vehicles (-39.5%), other manufacturing industries (-27.6%), the manufacture of clothing (-25.3%) ) and the leather and footwear industry (-24.6%).

In contrast, those that increased their production compared to March 2019 were the paper industry (+ 4.1%), the food industry (+ 3.6%), the manufacture of pharmaceutical products (+3.6 %) and the manufacture of computer products (+ 3%).

The indexes adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects also show negative annual rates in all sectors: durable consumer goods (-27.1%), capital goods (-26.3%), intermediate goods (-12.1%) ), non-durable consumer goods (-3%) and energy (-2.2%).

In monthly rate (March over February), industrial production plummeted 11.9%, with falls of 28.1% in durable consumer goods, from 26.7% in capital goods, from 11.8% in intermediate goods and 1.3% in non-durable consumer goods. In contrast, energy production increased 1.3% in March compared to February due to the confinement of Spanish households.

Industrial production decreased in March in 16 autonomous communities in the interannual rate and only increased in Murcia, with an increase of 1.1%.

The greatest decreases occurred in Castilla y León (-16%), País Vasco (-15.8%), Aragón (-14.1%), Cantabria (-13.6%) and Baleares (-13%), while the lowest decreases corresponded to Extremadura (-1.1%) and the Canary Islands (-1.4%).


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