Thursday, November 10, 2011

11/11/2011: Industrial Production & Turnover - September

Industrial production and turnover figures for September provide some interesting reading. Monthly figures are significantly volatile, so some comparisons are tenuous at best, but overall, despite some downward pressures, the figures are encouraging. Here's why.

Industrial production index for manufacturing has declined from 116.4 in August to 113 in September - monthly drop of 2.92%. Year on year, September 2011 is still up 0.18% although index is down on September 2007 some 0.1%. The average of the 3mo through September 2011 was 2.2% ahead of the average for 3mo through June 2011 and 2.1% ahead of the 3mo average through September 2010. September 2011 reading is ahead of 6mo MA of 112.3 and 12mo MA of 111.7.

All of the above suggests the slowdown in activity in September was not as sharp as we might have expected given the adverse news flow from the rest of the Euro area.

All industries index has fallen from 115.2 in August to 111.2 in September, registering a yoy decline of 0.1% and mom drop of 3.47%. The index is down 1.67% on September 2007. Just as with Manufacturing index, All industries index 3mo average through September 2011 was up 2.59% on previous 3mo period and also up 1.82% on 3mo period through September 2010. The index was also above its 6mo MA of 110.7 and 12mo MA of 110.2. Again, this suggests that the slowdown is still shallow and there is some robustness in the series.

Both indices are still ahead of their readings in July and June. In fact, Manufacturing sub-index is resting at the second highest level since January 2011. The same holds for All Industries index.

Modern Sectors sub-index fell from 130.2 in August to 128.4 in September (-1.38%mom) but is up 1.18% yoy and 11.3% ahead of the reading for September 2007. 3mo average through September is 3.1% ahead of the 3mo average through June 2011 and is 1.8% ahead of the 3mo average through September 2010. The sub-index is ahead of its 6mo MA of 127.3 and its 12mo MA of 126.2. Modern Sector production activity remains at the second highest level since July 2010.


Per chart above, traditional sector production sub-index has fallen to 89.8 in September from 98.5 in August. The overall trend in the sub-sector is uncertain. Massive break out from the long term decline trend in August - with index posting the strongest performance since November 2008 is now followed by a contraction of 8.8% yoy and 1.8% mom in September. However, September reading still rests comfortably above the long term trend line and ahead of 6mo MA of 89.3 and 12mo MA of 89.1. This is the second strongest reading for the sub-index since September 2010.

Having shrunk to 31.7% in August, the gap between Modern and Traditional sectors has widened once again to 38.6%.

In terms of turnover, Manufacturing industries saw a significant decline in overall turnover activity from 104.3 in August to 100.5 in September. The index is now down 0.4% yoy and 3.64% mom. The index is also down 6.8% on September 2007. However, 3mo average through September is up 3.5% on 3mo average through June 2011 and also up 1.2% on 3mo average through September 2010. The good news is that September was the third consecutive month with turnover index at or above 100, which means that September reading is ahead of 6mo MA of 99.9 and 12mo MA of 99.5. But the gap is extremely small.

Transportable goods industries turnover also declined in September 2011 from 103.8 in August to 100.1. Mom, yoy and relative to September 2007 dynamics are virtually identical to those for Manufacturing sector. Similarities persist in comparatives for 3mo averages and for 6m and 12mo MA.

Hence, overall, turnover data is less encouraging than volume data, which is expected during the overall build up of pressures in global trade flows.
Also per chart above, new orders index came in at disappointing 99.6 in September down from 102.1 in August (decline of 1.09% yoy and -2.45% mom). Compared to September 2007 the index is now off 8.93%. 3mo average through September 2011 is 2.1% ahead of the 3mo average through June 2011, but is only 0.1% ahead of the 3mo average through September 2010. Current reading is very close to 6mo MA of 99.52 and to 12mo MA of 99.18.

So on the net, I am reading the numbers coming out for September as rather positive developments, signaling some resilience in Irish manufacturing and industrial production in the face of challenges across the euro area and other core trading partners. Of course, this data requires some confirmation in months ahead before we can pop that celebratory cork...
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