Industrial production up 0.6 percent m-o-m, down 3.2 percent y-o-y in April
Industrial production adjusted for working days was 3.2 percent lower in April 2012 than 12 months earlier. Seasonally-adjusted output increased in April by 0.6 percent from March. Among the main industries, y-o-y growth was only seen in the chemical industry (3 percent) and in electronics manufacturing (1.9 percent). The metal industry's production was relatively flat and the forest industry’s production decreased by 5.9 percent y-o-y.
Orders indicate near-term weakness
The value of new orders in manufacturing was 20.2 percent lower in April 2012 than twelve months earlier, while in the first quarter of the year new orders in manufacturing declined by 4 per cent from twelve months ago. During the first four months of 2012, only the chemical industry has seen the value of its orders grow y-o-y (12.2 percent), while orders have decreased by the most for the textile industry (-14.6 percent), the metal industry (-11.6 percent) and within pulp & paper (-6.3 percent). The poor trend in order books and the deteriorating sentiment indicate that external demand and industrial output growth will be lacklustre during the summer months.
External demand may improve in H2, but the risks are remarkable
We still anticipate external demand to recover somewhat during H2 due to benign export orientation and a weaker euro. In fact, the value of Finnish exports to non-EU countries increased during the first four months of 2012 compared to the corresponding period a year ago, while exports to the EU have been on a declining trend. However, the negative external risks are remarkable and increasing as the euro crisis intensifies further.