The Finnish industrial sector continues to suffer from poor performance, both in terms of production and new orders.
According to Statistics Finland, industrial output adjusted for working days was 2.4% lower in August 2020 than in the same month of 2019. So far this year (January to August), industrial production fell by 3.1% year-on-year.
The only good news is that the decline may be coming to an end: in monthly terms, production grew 2% in August compared to July.
Among the main industries, the fall was still strongest compared to one year back in mining and quarrying, where output declined by 26.8%. In the forest industry, output decreased by 11% and in the chemical industry by 4% compared with August 2019. In turn, the electrical and electronics industry grew most year-on-year, by 13.6%.
Compared with the previous month (July), seasonally adjusted industrial output grew most in August in the electrical and electronics industry, by 13.4%. Output grew in mining and quarrying and in the metal industry by 4.8%.
The decline in output was strongest in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, where output decreased by 4.8% from the month before. In the forest industry, the fall amounted to 2.2% and in the chemical industry to 1% compared with July.
Drop in new orders
The failing development of new orders in manufacturing in recent months continued in August.
According to Statistics Finland, the value of new orders in manufacturing was 17.3% lower in August 2020 than twelve months earlier. During January to August, orders decreased by 14.7% from the year before. Orders have declined continuously for eight months.
Source: Statistics Finland.
Examined by main industry, orders decreased by 24% in the industry of the manufacture of paper and paper board products and by 19.1% in the metal industry from twelve months earlier. By contrast, new orders grew by 3.6% in the chemical industry from the year before.