Moldova’s industrial production contracted by 6.3% y/y in Q4 last year, marking the first negative performance in three years, the National Statistics Office said on February 17.
In full 2015, production edged up by a mere 0.6% y/y, decelerating from 7.3% y/y in 2014 and 6.8% y/y in 2013. The structure of the country’s industry is shifting from the traditional sectors of alcohol and tobacco to more labour-intensive sectors such as textiles and electric equipment, amid the shift of the exports from CIS countries to the European Union. The country’s industrial activity in the core manufacturing sector closely depends on its exports, and the correlation is visible from plotting the two indicators.
The manufacturing sector performed above average in Q4 and 2015 as a whole, while the utilities sector contracted sharply in Q4 (by 12.7% y/y) and posted a decline for the full year. Mining and quarrying, which accounts for 3% of total industrial production, saw the deepest plunge, but this had a moderate contribution to the overall performance.
Production in the manufacturing sector contracted by 3.7% y/y in Q4 but grew by 2.3% y/y in the whole year. Tobacco and alcohol production plunged by 36% y/y in Q4 and 51% y/y in 2015. This contributed a negative 0.7pp and 0.3pp respectively to the overall annual dynamics of the industrial production. By contrast, the production of textiles and electric equipment expanded rapidly, by 19.9% y/y in Q4 and 32.2% y/y in 2015, making robust positive contributions of 1.5pp and 1.1pp respectively.