Industrial production statistics
Data extracted in August 2022.
Planned article update: 24 July 2023.
This article analyses recent data on industrial production in the European Union (EU), as well as in some EFTA and candidate countries, based on results of industrial production (PRODCOM) statistics. Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg are exempt from collecting PRODCOM data and therefore no data is available. 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.
In 2021, the value of sold production in the European Union amounted to €5 209 billion, an increase by almost 14 % compared with €4 581 billion in 2020 (current prices).
Figure 1 presents the evolution of EU's value of sold production from 2011 to 2021. In the period from 2011 to 2014, the value generated by EU production remained quite stable. From 2014 until 2018, it shows a constant annual increase comparing to the previous year. The results of 2019 show the consolidation of the growth in production with a value of sold production in the European Union that amounted to €4 945 billion.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent containment measures widely introduced by Member States had a significant impact on the EU’s industrial production in 2020. The value of sold production in the European Union in 2020 decreased by 7 % compared with 2019. The EU’s industrial production in 2021 recovered and it increased by 8 % compared with 2020.
The recent increase was recorded in almost all industrial activities with the highest peak in the manufacturing of basic metals and fabricated metal products, followed by the manufacturing of chemical products, the manufacturing of rubber and plastic products and other non-metallic mineral products.
The newly available production under sub-contracted operations within the economic territory of the European Union Member States amounts to 3% of the production value and 9% of the production volume.
Industrial production by country
Figure 2 shows the share of the EU's value of sold production, by individual EU Member States in 2021. Six EU Member States generated 72 % of the EU’s value of sold production. Germany recorded the highest value of sold production, equivalent to 27 % of the EU total, followed by Italy (16 %), France (11 %), Spain (8 %), Poland (6 %) and the Netherlands (4 %). The other 21 EU Member States contributed with smaller shares (less than 4 %).
Looking in detail at the three largest manufacturing sectors within one country, Greece stood out with the manufacturing of food, beverages and tobacco activities, which represented 37 % of the country's total value of sold production in 2021. Croatia and Spain closely followed it with 27% each.
The manufacturing of basic metals and fabricated metal products generated 23 % of Italian value of sold production. Bulgaria was close to this share with 22 % and Greece with 21%, followed by Austria, Finland and Slovenia with shares 20 % of the country's total value of sold production.
The highest share of the country's total value of sold production in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers and other transport equipment was reported by Slovakia with 42 %, followed by Czechia (29 %) and Hungary and Romania each with 26 %.
Germany is the substantial producer of all the three activities mentioned above (€160 billion, €196 billion and €267 billion respectively) in the EU.
Industrial production by sector
The analysis that follows refers to the division breakdown (first 2-digit level) of the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). In some cases, the results are presented as a group of divisions, i.e. Food, beverages and tobacco (Divisions 10, 11 and 12 of NACE Rev.2).
Figure 3 shows the share of the manufacturing activities in the EU's value of sold production for 2011 and 2021 respectively. The EU's value of sold production is concentrated in 14 groups of activities; six of these groups account for almost three-quarters of the total for both reference years. The sectors manufacture of food, beverages & tobacco products, manufacture of motor vehicles and other transport equipment and manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products accounted for 45 % of the value of the sold production in 2021.
The value of sold production in almost all other manufacturing activities increased between 9 % and 60 % from 2011 to 2021 (in current prices). Looking into the smaller contributing domains, the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations had the highest increase (60 %) in 2021, compared with the 2011 value of sold production.
The five largest manufacturing activities
The analysis refers to the top five manufacturing activities presented at division breakdown (first 2-digit level) of the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE).
Figure 4 shows the evolution of the value of sold production for the five largest manufacturing activities in the EU, over the period 2011 - 2021. Based on constant prices (base year 2015), the manufacture of the four largest manufacturing activities increased in 2021 from 2 % to 16 % compared with 2011, while only the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers decreased by 3 %.
In terms of nominal value of the sold production all five activities recorded increase in 2021 compared with 2020 from 4 % to 24 %, out of which the manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment increased the most (with 24 % or €80 billion) and the Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products (with 23 % or €84 billion).
Results for some examples of products or group of products sold
The results are detailed at four-digit level of the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE).
Production of motor vehicles accounted for 55 % of the EU's value of sold production of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers
Figure 5 analyses the share of the value of sold production for the manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (Division 29 of NACE Rev.2) in 2021.
The overall value of sold production generated by the manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers in 2021 was of €589 billion; this value represents 11 % of the total EU's value of sold production. In 2021, the value of sold production for this manufacturing sector increased by 4% compared with 2020. The manufacturing of motor vehicles represented approximately €325 billion, which is more than one-half of the sold production value for this group. The manufacturing of other parts and accessories, bodies (coachwork), electrical and electronic equipment for motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers accounted for the rest of the sold production in this activity.(Figure 5)
On average, one kilogram of fresh bread produced in the EU was sold for 1.71 Euro
Figure 6 presents the value of production sold for 1 kilogram of fresh bread, in the EU over the period 2011 - 2021 and in each country for 2021.
The value of sold production of fresh bread, compared with the previous year, was constantly increasing in the period 2014-2017, in 2018 it slightly decreased by 1%. It was increasing again in the period 2019-2021.
The average value of production sold for one kilogram of fresh bread increased by 14 % between 2011 and 2021 and went up by 9 % compared to 2020. The price has been slightly moving up and down in the last decade from €1.50 per kg to maximum €1.71 in 2021.
Finland was the country where one kilogram of fresh bread produced was sold at the highest price, over €2.6. In Italy, Austria and Germany the price was between €2.2 and 2.6. Rather low prices, of under €1 per kg, were observed in Lithuania, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the country with the lowest value of production sold, 65 cents/kg.
EU's production of pharmaceutical products increased in the last years
Figure 7 provides an overview of the value of total sold production of basic pharmaceutical products produced in the EU, during the period 2011-2021. Throughout the period 2011-2016, the total sold production value of pharmaceutical products fluctuated between €20 and 25 billion. For the last 5 years the EU’s pharmaceutical production has been increasing and reaching a peak €30,4 billion in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the EU’s pharmaceutical production dropped slightly to €27 billion.
For the last 10 years, the production of antibiotics continued at the steady pace with a total sold production value €2 billion in 2021. The pro-vitamins and vitamins hit the highest point recorded in 2018, nevertheless the sold value dropped by half in 2021 to €2 billion. The antibiotics and vitamins represented 15 % of the total basic pharmaceutical production.
A look into the EU's production of wind turbines
Figure 8 provides an overview of the number of wind turbines produced in the EU between 2011 and 2021. During this period, the yearly average production of wind turbines amounted to 10 000 pieces. In 2013, the production of wind generating sets hit the lowest point recorded. Despite this drop of the produced quantity from 2011 to 2013, the production of wind turbines boosted again in 2014 and since then the production observed was quite constant until 2019. In 2020, the sold quantity decreased to less then 6 800 wind turbines. In 2021, the sold quantity represents almost 9000 wind turbines.
The main wind generating sets producers are Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
The production of wearing apparel decreased across EU
The EU produced over 3.5 billion items of wearing apparel in 2021, with a value of sold production of EUR 27.8 billion. The manufacturing of this product decreased by 5% in 2021 comparing to 2011 and by 23% since COVID-19 pandemic break in 2019.
Italian production of wearing apparels accounted for more than 50% of the sold value produced at the EU level (almost €14 billion). It is followed by Spain and Portugal that accounted for one fifth of the sold value produced at the EU level (€5.5 billion). Germany, Romania and Bulgaria completed the top 6 of EU producers. These six countries together counted for 85 % of the total production within the EU. For this analysis, confidential data are not taken into account. Figure 9 analyses the 2021 production of wearing apparels (Division 14 of NACE Rev.2) in the EU.
Source data for tables and graphs
The Prodcom list is linked to the activity classification NACE and to the classification of products by activity (CPA): the first four digits of each Prodcom code refer to a NACE class, the fifth and sixth digits relate to a CPA sub-category, and the seventh and eighth digits are specific to the Prodcom list. Most headings correspond to one or more codes from the combined nomenclature (CN), a classification used for statistics on international trade in goods: some headings (mostly industrial services) do not correspond to a CN heading at all. The relationship with CN makes it possible to calculate apparent consumption by linking production statistics to international trade statistics.
The production surveyed covers only the production actually carried out on the territory of the reporting country. This means that the production of subsidiaries, which takes place outside an enterprise’s territory, is not included in the survey results for that country. As a general principle, when a production process takes as an input a material that does not match the description of the product, and produces as an output something that does, then production of the product should be recorded. If the processing of a product does not change the heading under which it is listed, it should not be recorded, since this would result in double-counting. This means that the link to turnover data is tenuous, since some activities do not result in new products and should not be recorded in Prodcom statistics.
Prodcom data are available for the EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; Eurostat produces aggregates for the EU. According to the terms of the Prodcom Regulation, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta have derogations not to provide Prodcom data to Eurostat because of their size; as such there is no data for these three Member States in the database.
Data are available during the year following the reference year, with the first release of information usually taking place in July. As more complete and revised data become available, updates are released on a monthly basis.
Data in Excel files
The development of Prodcom dates back to 1985 when Eurostat organised a series of meetings on production statistics, whose objective was to harmonise the various ways industrial production statistics were collected in the EU Member States. Although statistics were collected on products in most countries, there was a varied selection of classifications in use reflecting national situations and a range of different survey methods were applied.
The Prodcom Regulation is designed to enable these national statistics to be compared and, where possible, aggregated to give a picture of the developments of an industry or product in the European context. This aim became more urgent with the creation of the single market in 1992 and the statistical system had to adapt.
Before data collection could begin, it was necessary to draw up a common list of products to be covered. Drawing up the Prodcom list was a unique opportunity for Eurostat, the national statistical authorities and the European trade associations to work together to produce a classification that would be understood by businesses and would be appropriate for national and European statistics. Industrial production statistics collected within PRODCOM serves as one of the data sources used in several policy areas of the European Commission and national administrations. Other users such as professional/trade associations and their members use PRODCOM statistics for information on industry. The use of the data in climate change statistics is increasing, as well as in other environmental statistics such as the analysis of material flows or chemicals production and consumption statistics.
Direct access to
- Business economy by sector - NACE Rev. 2 (online publication)
- Industrial production statistics introduced - PRODCOM — background article
- Chemicals production and consumption statistics
- Structural business statistics introduced — background article
- Material flow accounts and resource productivity
- Detailed data by PRODCOM list (NACE Rev. 2) (prom2) (Excel tables N2)
- Sold production, exports and imports by PRODCOM list (NACE Rev. 2) - annual data (DS_066341)
- Total production by PRODCOM list (NACE Rev. 2) - annual data (DS_066342)
- Traditional international trade database access (ComExt) (comext)
- Council Regulation (EEC) No 3924/91 of 19 December 1991 on the establishment of a Community survey of industrial production]
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 912/2004 of 29 April 2004 implementing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3924/91 on the establishment of a Community survey of industrial production
- Regulation (EU) No 1933/2019 of 6 November 2019 establishing for 2019 the Prodcom list of industrial products provided for by Council Regulation (EEC) No 3924/91