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Economy in Brief

 March Industrial Production Data Show Declines in Developed and Emerging Nations
by Louise Curley May 9, 2005

March Industrial production data were released today for the developed nations-- Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom; and for the developing nations--Slovakia, Turkey and Malaysia. Each country reported a decline in production from February, adding to the evidence of a slow down in world growth in the first quarter of 2005.

While Turkey showed the largest decline, it followed an unusually large-- 9%-- rise in February. Unexpected declines occurred in the United Kingdom where production was down by 1.14% and in Germany where production declined by 0.79%. In both cases the consensus had predicted a rise.

The year-to-year percentage changes in the data generally show a declining trend over the past year or so in all the reporting countries except Germany, where the data appear trend less. The first chart compares the year-to-year changes in production for Germany and the United Kingdom. Although Turkey and Malaysia show a declining trend in year-to-year changes, the percent changes have yet to record declines, indicating that production is still increasing on a year-to-year basis as shown in the second chart. The same cannot be said for Denmark where the average year-to-year decline for the first quarter was 3.88% and for Slovakia where there has been little change in the level of production.

INDUSTRIAL  PRODUCTION Mar 05 Feb 05 Mar 04 M/M% Y/Y%  2004    2003  2002
Germany (2000=1000 100.9 101.7 99.3 -0.79 1.61 100.8 98.4 98.3
U. K. (2001=100) 95.8 96.9 97.6 -1.14 -4.84 97.8 97.3 97.5
Denmark (2000=100) 97 99 103 -2.02 -5.83 102 102 103
Turkey (1997=100) 129.0 137.0 122.7 -5.84 5.13 123.4 112.4 103.4
Slovakia (2000=100) 124.1 126.7 127.9 -2.05 -2.97 124.7 120.9 114.8
Malaysia (1993=100) 237.5 240.3 226.0 -1.17 5.09 229.6 206.3 188.8
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