Production of manufactured goods went down by 7 % in 2020

In 2020, the EU’s sold production of manufactured goods amounted to EUR4 599 billion, a decrease of 7% compared with 2019. The outbreak of the COVID-19 and related containment measures widely introduced by the EU Member States had a significant impact on the EU’s industrial production in 2020. Between 2010 and 2014, the EU’s production remained quite stable, then it gradually increased until 2018. Following a small decrease in 2019, the value of the sold production further decreased in 2020, almost to the level of 2011 and 2015.

This information comes from data on production of manufactured goods published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

This large drop in 2020 was largely due to a decrease in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers and other transport equipment, manufacturing of furniture and other manufacturing, manufacturing of machinery and equipment (not elsewhere classified) as well as manufacturing of basic metals and fabricated metal products.

Production of pharmaceutical products up by 31 % in 2020

Despite the general decrease in production in 2020, the value of sold production of basic pharmaceutical products increased by almost a third (31 %) compared with 2019. Since 2010, it has steadily increased, with a small drop in 2018 and 2019, reaching a sold production of over EUR 30 billion in 2020.

In 2020, the production of antibiotics and vitamins represented 10% and 7% respectively of the total basic pharmaceutical production. Since 2012, the production of antibiotics has grown at a fairly steady pace, reaching EUR3 billion in 2020. 

Production of provitamins and vitamins reached a peak in 2018 (EUR 4 billion), but then dropped by half in 2019 (to EUR 2 billion). In 2020, it slightly increased (to EUR 2.2 billion; +10 % compared with 2019). 

For more information:

  • Statistics Explained article on industrial production
  • Dedicated section of production of manufactured goods (PRODCOM) statistics
  • Database of production of manufactured goods (PRODCOM) statistics
  • Data presented in this article are collected under the industrial production regulation and cover the activities under sections B and C (Mining and quarrying and Manufacturing) of the NACE Rev. 2 classification and since 2019 the activity 38.32 Recovery of sorted materials.