European Manufacturing down by 8.5 % in 2020

Between 2000 and 2020, manufacturing in the EU increased on average by 0.4 % each year, with large differences across years. The low average growth is largely due to the economic and financial crisis (average annual rate of change of -8.9 % in 2008 and 2009) as well as the recent COVID-19 crisis (-8.5 % in 2020)

Despite a recovery and a return to an upward trend after the financial crisis, manufacturing did not return to the rate of growth seen in the pre-crisis years (average annual growth of 2.1 % between 2000 and 2007) in the years that followed (2010 -2019). In 2020, it was hit hard again, by the COVID-19 crisis.

Although various manufacturing industries followed a roughly similar trend, there were a few notable exceptions. The pharmaceutical industry recorded by far the most dynamic development, with its production almost doubling since 2000, while a very strong increase was also recorded for the manufacturing of computers, electronic and optical goods. In contrast, tobacco production more than halved during this period.

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