The index level for Norwegian manufacturing both in the second and the third quarter of 2021 amounted to 119 (2005=100). Figures for the last months indicate that the production activity has leveled out (see figure 1).

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.

Three-month change: strong differences on industry level

According to , manufacturing output was unchanged in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter. Even though total manufacturing output has levelled out, there were great differences within the different industries. Food and beverages contributed the most in a positive direction with a growth of 1.8 per cent. The growth was mainly due to an increase within processing and preserving of fish, but there was also high production of beverages in this period. The increase within processing and preserving of fish can partly be explained by unusually high slaughter volumes of mackerel for this time of the year. In addition, the industry grouping refined petroleum, chemicals and pharmaceuticals also saw a clear output growth in the third quarter.

On the other hand, the industry grouping rubber, plastic and mineral products together with machinery and equipment contributed to pull down the overall manufacturing output. Within rubber, plastic and mineral products, shutdowns are reported as a reason for lower output, amongst other things, while the fall in machinery and equipment can be related to reduced level of acticvity.

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: strong growth in wood and plastic products in September

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, manufacturing output saw an increase of 0.6 per cent from August to September 2021. The increase is particularly related to an upturn in wood and wood products, and in the industry grouping rubber, plastic and mineral products, which both increased by 14 per cent. The growth in these industries must be seen in context with unusually low production of wood products and plastic products in August.

On the other hand, computer and electrical equipment saw a clear production fall in the same period and contributed to dampen the overall manufacturing growth.

Monthly change: clear output fall in the Euro area in August 2021

Estimated figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, indicate that manufacturing output in the had a clear outpull fall of 2 per cent from July to August 2021. In the same period, Norwegian manufacturing production was unchanged.

Sweden saw a clear production decrease of 2.8 per cent, while Denmark had an output growth of as much as 5.1 per cent.

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

Three-month change: strong growth in the petroleum industry

According to seasonally-adjusted figures, the total production index (PII) covering extraction, mining, manufacturing and electricity supply had a clear output growth of 3.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2021 compared with the previous quarter. The overall growth is driven by extraordinary high extraction of oil and gas, which increased by 8.1 and 14 per cent respectively. Higher oil and gas prices haven given incentives for increased production on the Norwegian continental shelf. In addition, there were technical problems and maintenance work on some fields in the previous quarter. For more details about oil and gas extraction in this period, see the press release fromThe Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Within support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction, there was an output decrease of 1.3 per cent from the second to the third quarter. In the same period, mining and quarrying fell by 2.6 per cent, while Norwegian electricity supply saw a severe production drop of almost 11 per cent. The fall in electricity supply must be seen in context with low degrees of filling in the water reservoirs.

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 establishment 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.