European Industrial Production, December 2021: Data published by Eurostat shows that seasonally adjusted total industrial production in the Euro-zone was +1.2% higher than in November, with the EU as a whole seeing growth of +0.7%. For 2021, the annual average saw growth of +7.8% in the Euro-zone and +8.2% for the EU.
Industrial production is dominated by manufacturing output but it also includes the extraction industries (mining & quarrying) and utilities (supply of electricity, gas & water). The annual trends for the manufacturing sector show growth of +8.5% for the Euro-zone and +8.8% for the EU.
Analysis of the data by sub-sector shows output of the capital goods industries led the way for the month-on-month comparison with growth of +2.6% in the Euro-zone and +1.8% for the EU. The annual trend for 2021 saw growth of +8.5% for the Euro-zone and +8.6% for the EU.
The Eurostat briefing paper gives the trends for total industrial production by country comparing December 2021 with December 2020 (not the same thing as comparing the annual averages). On this basis, of the 26 Member States who have published data (Cyprus is missing), 19 were higher and 7 were lower. There were six countries where the growth rate was >+10%, led by Lithuania (+33.3%), followed by Bulgaria (+14.3%), Poland (+14.1%), Belgium (+12.6%), Slovenia (+11.8%) and Finland (+11.5%). The largest reductions in output were in Malta (-7.1%) and Ireland (-2.9%) but it is worth noting that both Germany (-1.8%) and France (-0.6%) were also negative.
We also took the opportunity of the annual figures becoming available to download the data for the manufacturing sect. Among the 25 Member States for which the data is published (Ireland and Cyprus are not available), only Malta saw manufacturing output fall in 2021 compared to 2020; the strongest growth was in Lithuania (+20.9%), with Belgium (+17.3%), Poland (+14.8%), Italy (+13.0%), Slovenia (+11.7%), Austria (+10.5%) and Slovakia (+10.4%) also in double digits.
However, taking the declines recorded in 2020 and the recovery in 2021 together, 15 Member States had manufacturing output above the pre-pandemic level recorded in 2019 and 10 had not yet reached this position. Not surprisingly, the strongest recovery was in Lithuania (and index of 117.9 with 2019 as 100) while Germany (93.2) and France (93.8) were the furthest from their pre-pandemic level. This is mainly due to the size and importance of the automotive and aerospace industries in these countries given that these industries have seen the weakest recovery for a variety of reasons.
You can download the euro-indicators bulletin from the Eurostat website at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/euro-indicators (16 February) or request it from MTA; we can also send you the more detailed data download and analysis that includes the breakdowns by industry – contact Geoff Noon (email: [email protected]) for a copy of the data files.
European GDP, 4th Quarter 2021: The latest estimates from Eurostat show that GDP for the Euro-zone increased by +0.3% compared to the 3rd quarter, with growth of +0.4% for the EU overall. This gives a growth rate for 2021 as a whole of +2.3% for the Euro-zone and +2.2% for the EU.
This release brings data for more countries, although there are still 7 missing. The most notable piece of data is that Germany saw a quarter-on-quarter fall in GDP of -0.7% in the final period of 2021; this negative trend was also seen in Austria (-2.2%), Romania (-0.5%) and Latvia (-0.1%). The strongest quarterly growth rates were in Hungary (+2.1%) and Spain (+2.0%).
You can download the euro-indicators bulletin from the Eurostat website at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/euro-indicators (15 February) or request it from MTA.
USMTO and CTMR, December 2020: The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders in the US market, based on the reports from participants. In 2021, this reached a new all time record high of just over $5.9 billion; this is +54.8% higher than the Covid-affected 2020 figure and +7.7% higher than the previous peak of just under $5.5 billion recorded in 2018.
The strong end to the year is emphasised by the fact that since 1998, one-quarter of all the months where orders were more than $500 million were in 2021. The AMT press release highlights the strength of the US housing market which has driven demand for consumer durables which fed through to additional manufacturing capacity; they also note an increase in demand for tool grinding machinery needed to make drill bits and other tooling. There were other sectors that we strong in particular months, with December led by the mould & die industry, valve manufacturers and engine, turbine and power transmission companies.
Partly because of this strength, the pace of growth is expected to weaken into 2022, although the trend is still expected to be positive despite the record year in 2021.
We still don’t have the full regional breakdown but using the data for metal cutting machines (which account for nearly 98% of total orders in 2021), we can get a very good idea of the trends. All six regions saw a substantial increase with the growth of “only” +44% in both the South-East and North-East regions the weakest; growth in the West was just under +50% and North-Central-East was +54% but the largest growth was in South-Central which achieved +70% and the North-Central West region at +77%.
The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks orders for tooling on a similar basis; the total for 2021 was just under $2 billion and while this is an increase of +8.3% on the 2020 figure, it is -18.8% lower than in 2019. The commentary on the press release is a little confusing as it talks about the “economy” not reaching its pre-pandemic levels until 2023 – in fact, the US is one of the few economies that has already surpassed its pre-pandemic levels, so it appears that this may actually refer to the cutting tool market.
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.