GEM Newsletter: Production Falls in the Baltic and Nordic Countries

February 27, 2014 - The Industrial Production Index measures changes in price-adjusted output in a respective economy using a fixed-base year. The majority of the Baltic and Nordic economies measure production by price-indexing using 2010 as the base year, with notable exceptions including Norway which uses 2005 as its base year. In December 2013, the Baltic and Nordic economies recorded declines in their respective industrial production indices compared to the same period of the previous year (0.2% in Denmark, 6.3% in Estonia, 5.3% in Finland, 3.0% in Sweden, 2.7% in Norway, 3.0% in Lithuania and 4.1% in Latvia). During 2013, industrial production momentum in Finland and Sweden stood out as particularly poor on a month-on-month basis compared to the corresponding periods in 2012. This was mainly caused by reduced energy production and a downward slide in new orders reducing manufacturing output. While the Nordic countries have tended to outperform their Baltic counterparts (especially during the first half of the year where Baltics' IPI has consistently declined), the IPI growth for these countries has since started to converge, as observed by the lower interquartile range. Presently, the median trend suggests that production in the region will remain rather pessimistic in the near future. GEM HIGHLIGHTS
  • In November 2013 Iran’s Crude Oil Production recorded its first positive Year-on-Year (YoY) growth rate since November 2011 of 0.67%. By contrast, the United Arab Emirates saw its first YoY decline since May 2012 of 3.81%.
  • December 2013 was remarkable for Retail Sales growth in the United Kingdom with the highest YoY growth rate since 2004 of 5.4%. Outside Europe, Argentina’s Supermarket Sales registered a significant boom during the same period, with 35.5% YoY growth, though high YoY growth may be skewed upwards by inflationary factors.
  • Japan’s trade deficit widened to record highs of USD17.53 billion in January 2014 on account of higher total imports (owing to higher fuel prices) and declining total exports.
  • Of the various fluctuating European Property Prices, Romania’s House Price Index rose by 0.82% YoY, its first improvement of the HPI since the inception of the index. In contrast, Norway’s House Prices declined for the first time since May 2009, by 0.66% YoY in December 2013.
  • Among European countries, Russia and Hungary registered the highest Industrial New Orders growth rates in December 2013, amounting to 70% YoY and 85% YoY, respectively.
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27th February 2014 GEM Newsletter: Production Falls in the Baltic and Nordic Countries

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