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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production:  Germany, Norway, Brazil and Hungary
by Louise Curley June 7, 2005

Industrial production data for April were released today for Germany, Norway, Brazil and Hungary--a large and a small developed economy and a large and a small emerging economy.

The first chart compares the trend in manufacturing production for Germany and Norway. Indexes for manufacturing rather than the total are used as the total indexes for these countries are particularly erratic, including such volatile industries as construction in Germany and oil and gas extraction and mining and quarrying in Norway. For instance, the increase in the total index for Germany was 1.1% from March to April but after excluding the 18.6% rise in construction, manufacturing was up only 0.5%. In Norway the total was up 4.7%, but excluding the rise of 6.3% in oil and gas extraction and of 17.9% in mining and quarrying, up, manufacturing was up only 2.2% Production has increased in recent months in both countries, but there has been no strong trend since 2000.

In contrast industrial production in the two emerging market countries has been in a strong uptrend since 2000 as can be seen in the second chart. While index numbers tell us nothing of magnitudes, they do reveal changes in the levels of production. To make it easier to compare the growth in production in the four countries we have adjusted the figures for Norway and Brazil, putting both on a bases of 2000 =100. The official Norway data are based on 1995=100 and those for Brazil, on 2002=100. These calculations are shown in the table below.

Currently production in the emerging market economies is well above 2000 levels--some 15% in Brazil and 30% in Hungary while manufacturing production in Norway is slightly below the level of 2000 and in Germany, only slightly above. Production in Brazil is beginning to falter, but production in Hungary is still strong.

Industrial Production Apr 05 Mar 05 M/M% Y/Y%  2004    2003  2002
Germany Mfg 2000=100 105.1 104.6 0.48 2.64 102.7 99.5 99.3
Norway Mfg 2000=100 Computed 98.4 96.2 2.22 5.63 95.3 93.9 98.1
Norway Mfg 1995 =100 Official  101.4 99.2 2.22 5.63 98.2 96.8 101.1
Hungary 2000=100 130.50 126.58 3.10 7.26 123.10 114.37 107.82
Brazil 2000=100  Computed 115.69 115.79 -0.04 4.68 112.78 104.37 104.37
Brazil 2002=100 Official 110.84 110.88 -0.04 4.68 108.05 100.0 100.0
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