Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Industrial Production drops back slightly

After the big gain seen in January, the latest CSO release shows that industrial production volume has fallen back slightly for the last two months.  Even with these slight falls the long-term trend appears to be heading upwards.  However, this may not hold up to closer scrutiny.
Industrial Production March
The CSO have revised the slight increase shown in the provisional figures for February to a slight decrease.  The initial 1.2% monthly increase has been revised to a 1.3% decrease.  There was also a monthly decrease of 2.6% in March.   Even with these drops, the huge increase in January means the annual change in  industrial production is still positive. 
Industrial Production March2
However it could be that the one-off monthly increase of 20% that occurred in January is masking the actual trend.  If we look at the monthly changes, these have been negative for five of the past six months.
Industrial Production March3
Industrial production has shown monthly decreases for 15 of the past 24 months.  While the annual change remained positive in March, as it has for the first three months of the year, if the recent month on month trend continues (excluding the January blip) we could find industrial production dropping back below the levels seen last year.  The release of the April figures in a month’s time will shed light on this.

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