European Industrial Production, April 2022: Data from Eurostat showed that total industrial production in the EU increased by +0.3% compared to March, with growth of +0.4% for the Euro-zone. This small improvement followed a sharp fall for both areas in March. Looking back 12 months, this means that industrial production in the EU is -0.5% lower than it was in April 2021 but there is a reduction of -2.0% for the Euro-zone.
There are more interesting differences at the detailed industry group level. In the month-on-month data, output of the capital goods industries in the EU increased by+0.2% but for the Euro-zone there was a decline of -0.2% – the only sub-sector to contract in the Euro-zone. Interestingly, for the EU, it was durable consumer goods output that fell (-0.1%) despite increasing (+0.2%) in the Euro-zone.
Compared to April 2021, output of capital goods fell by -7.5% in the EU and by -9.0% in the Euro-zone; in both cases, this is the largest percentage reduction of the various sub-sectors of industrial production. At this point it is worth noting that industrial production is mainly manufacturing (split into capital, intermediate, consumer durable and consumer non-durable goods) but it also includes output of the extraction industries (mining & quarrying) and utilities (supply of electricity, gas & water).
Staying with the comparison against a year earlier, of the 26 Member States to have released their April figures (as usual, Cyprus is missing), 14 reported an increase and 12 registered a decline in total industrial production. The fastest growth was in Lithuania (+20.6%, Denmark (+17.0%) and Bulgaria (+16.9%) with the largest reductions being in Ireland (-30.9%), Slovakia (-9.6%) and Malta (-9.4%).
Among the larger manufacturing nations in the EU, output increased compared to a year earlier in Spain (+3.1%) and Italy (+4.2%) but it fell in France (-0.3%) and Germany (-2.3%). In the next tier, output grew in the Netherlands (+7.8%) and Austria (+11.2%) but fell in Belgium (-0.2%).
For more details, you can download the Euro-indicators report from their website at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/euro-indicators (15 June).
USMTO and CTMR, April 2022: The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders in the US market, based on the reports from participants. Over the first four months of this year, orders reported by the respondents to the survey were worth just under US$2 billion, 26.5% higher than for the same months (January to April) in 2021.
In the press release announcing the latest results, our colleagues at AMT note that orders had been expected to soften in the middle of the year but this data suggests that it is not happening, at least for now. The big question is what will happen to consumer demand when the supply-chain issues that are still affecting large parts of the manufacturing industry fall away. However, this is orders data, which doesn’t really reflect that aspect of manufacturing data.
At the regional level, we still have to focus on the trends for metal cutting machine tools, although these accounted for 98% of the total value so far in 2022, so this is not really an issue. Two regions – South-Central (+66%) and South-East (+61%) – grew at a significantly faster pace than the other areas although it is worth noting that these are still the two smallest regions in order value terms. There was also significant growth in the Western region (+43%), with more modest increases in the North-Central-West (+25%) and North-East (+15%); the North-Central-East was the slowest growing region but just about managed +10% when rounded-up.
The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks orders for tooling on a similar basis; in the first 4 months of 2022, consumption of tooling in the US increased by +9.1% compared to the same months last year. Month-to-month data can often be volatile and the April total will have been affected by the Easter holidays, but the market fell by -10% compared to March, although they were higher than in April 2021. It is here, rather than in the machine tool data, that we see the impact of the supply-chain issues which are restricting manufacturing output.
You can download the press releases for the two surveys from the AMT web-site at www.amtonline.org/topic/intelligence, with the CTMR release also published on the USCTI web-site at www.uscti.com; alternatively, you can request either or both releases from MTA and we can make sure you get them when they are published each month.