The index level for Norwegian manufacturing in the period December 2021-February 2022 amounted to 118.3 (2005=100). The corresponding figure for the previous three-month period was 118.8. Activity in the manufacturing sector has seen some volatility in the last few months (see figure 1). Production activity for February are somewhat below pre-pandemic levels.

Figure 1. Production development in manufacturing. Seasonally adjusted and smoothed seasonally adjusted figures¹. 2005=100

¹ March 2020 and the subsequent months are specified as outliers in the seasonal adjustment routine. Hence, the trend figures for 2020 are not included in the figure.

Monthly change: several industry groups contributed to decline

According to , manufacturing output declined by 2.1 per cent from January to February 2022. The industry grouping refined petroleum, chemicals and pharmaceuticals contributed the most in the negative direction with a decrease of 4.6 per cent. There were also marked declines within the industry grouping rubber, plastic and mineral products and wood and wood products. Many businesses across the manufacturing sector reported of decline in output this month compared with a very strong month in January.

Three-month change: decline in food products, increase in basic metals

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, manufacturing output saw a decrease of 0.4 per cent in the period December 2021-February 2022 compared to the previous three-month period. The decrease is particularly related to a fall in food products of 2.8 per cent due to lower production within processing and preserving of fish. Several businesses within the industry reported of instances of downtime and maintenance shutdowns. The decline is also due to high slaughter volumes in the previous three-month period because of favourable conditions within the fish farming industry, in addition to an early start of the mackerel season in the fall of 2021.

On the other hand, basic metals saw a marked increase of 6.0 per cent in this three-month period. In addition, there was also growth in computer and electrical equipment compared to the last period which dampened the total decline in manufacturing output.

Figure 2. Indicator for petroleum-related industries. Seasonally adjusted. Three-month moving average¹. 2005=100

¹ The index value for period m is the average of period m, m-1 and m-2.

Monthly change: marginal output fall in the Euro area in January

Estimated figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, indicate that manufacturing output in the had a marginal output decline of 0.2 per cent from December 2021 to January 2022. In the same period, Norwegian manufacturing production grew by 3.3 per cent.

Sweden saw a decrease of 0.7 per cent in the same period, while Denmark had an output growth of 2.2 per cent.

Figure 3. Index of production for manufacturing. Euro area and Norway (2015=100). Seasonally adjusted

Three-month change: growth in the total production index

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, the total production index (PII) covering extraction, mining, manufacturing and electricity supply had an output decrease of 0.9 per cent in the period December 2021-February 2022 compared with the previous three-month period. The decline is particularly due to a production fall of 7.5 per cent within extraction of crude petroleum. In addition, extraction of natural gas also saw a decrease of 3.9 per cent. For more details about oil and gas extraction in this period, see the press release from The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Within support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction, there was an output increase of 4.8 per cent in this three-month period. In the same period, mining and quarrying also saw a growth of 2.3 per cent, while production within Norwegian electricity went up by 2.8 per cent.

Figure 4. Production development. Seasonally adjusted. Three-month moving average¹. 2005=100

¹ The index value for period m is the average of period m, m-1 and m-2.

Thursday 12th of March 2020 the Norwegian government introduced actions against the spreading of the Corona-virus in Norway. Several manufacturing establishments have been affected by these measures, and this has led to a change in the activity pattern compared to what we usually observe. Hence, the seasonal adjustment routine during the Corona- crisis is done in such a way that the figures during the crisis (from March), are not included in the basis for the calculation of the seasonal pattern. Technically, in the seasonal adjustment routine this is done by specifying March and following months as outliers.

This implies that normal trend figures will not be calculated, and instead the trend will follow the seasonal adjusted figures. One important exception is the last observation, where the trend will be an extrapolated figure where the last observation is not included. The trend figures from, and including, March 2020 will therefore be difficult to interpret.

The seasonal adjustment routine of Statics Norway is in line with the recommendations of Eurostat.