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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production in Malaysia, Hungary, Norway and Germany 
by Louise Curley May 8, 2007

March industrial production data for the countries in the various Haver data bases are becoming available. Today industrial production data for Germany (GERMANY), Norway (NORDIC), Hungary (EMERGECW) and Malaysia (EMERGEPR) were released. Industrial production indexes measure the trend of production not the magnitude of production. As a measure of the relative sizes of the various economies, the dollar value of GDP of each country valued at current prices and exchange rates is good indicator. In 2006 the German GDP was equal to $2,900 billion; Norway, $335 billion; Hungary, $112 billion and Malaysia, $149 billion.

All four countries experienced a decline from February, 1.5% for Norway, 0.6% for Hungary, 0.4% for Malaysia, and 0.1% for Germany. The monthly data for the four countries are plotted in the first chart. A clearer picture of the trends in production emerges when we use quarterly data as shown in the second chart.

Production in the two emerging economies--Hungary and Malaysia--has grown much faster since 2002 than in the two developed economies--Norway and Germany. Recent trends, however, show that growth in Malaysia's industrial production has begun to taper off and has fallen behind that of Hungary. In the first quarter, as production declined in Malaysia, the gap has widened.

A similar divergence in the growth of production has occurred in the developed economies of Germany and Norway. Except for a brief period in 2002, industrial production in Norway has not as yet reached its 2000 average and, in the first quarter of this year, was roughly 6% below the 2000 average. Meanwhile, the trend in industrial production in Germany, which remained relatively flat until early 2005, has turned up and in the first quarter was 14% above the 2000 average.

 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION (2000=100) Mar  07 Feb 07 Mar 06 M/M % Y/Y % 2006 2005 2004
Malaysia 130.8 131.3 134.7 -0.38 -2.90 134.0 127.5 122.5
Hungary 152.38 153.3 142.20 -0.60 7.16 145.48 131.06 122.07
Norway 92.6 94.0 96.3 -1.54 -3.84 94.6 97.0 97.3
Germany 114.4 114.5 106.2 -0.07 7.72 109.8 103.7 100.8
Q1 07 Q4 06 Q1 06 Q/Q % Y/Y % 2006 2005 2004
Malaysia 131.9 135.0 131.7 -2.27 0.13 134.0 127.5 122.5
Hungary 153.13 152.03 139.57 0.72 9.72 145.48 131.06 122.07
Norway 93.6 92.9 96.3 0.71 -2.81 94.6 97.0 97.3
Germany 114.3 112.4 106.5 1.72 7.32 109.8 103.7 100.8
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