Moldova’s industry up 3.3% y/y in Q3 driven by food, beverages and wood processing
The industrial production volume index in Moldova increased by 3.3% y/y in Q1, the statistics bureau BNS announced.
Last year, the country’s industry rallied driven by robust domestic demand and leapt up by 12.4% — but this year the growth rate is likely to slow down close to a standstill.
The country’s GDP is expected to inch up marginally (by 0.3%, under the government’s scenario) in 2022 and industry will not diverge too much from that projection.
There are several industries that have performed quite well over the past year: food (+48% y/y in Q1) and beverages (8.7% y/y) production, wood processing (+30% y/y) and furniture production (+19% y/y), as well as the production of construction materials (+15% y/y) and the manufacturing of rubber and plastic products (+24% y/y).
Notably, food production soared by 48% y/y after the robust 8.8% y/y average advance in 2021. The country used to import a large part of its processed food from Ukraine and now it has to find substitutes — from either imports or local production. This came, however, with a sharp increase in the price of food by some 30% y/y as of April.
Among the industries that performed disappointingly this year are electric machinery (-41% y/y in Q1) electronic and optical equipment production (-13% y/y).
Since 2018, economy has carried risk of severe balance of payments crisis. For the removal of that risk, the central bank’s net in and off-balance sheet FX position should at least turn positive.
Decline of 6.5% y/y is second worst in EU.
Retail sales rose by 0.9% m/m in October, recouping the losses incurred over the previous three months.
Czech retail sales decreased by 1.4% year on year and increased by 0.6% month on month in October, in the softest monthly drop in a year and a half. The drop in sales eased compared to the 4% y/y drop in September and the 2.8% y/y drop in August.
Despite lapse in demand, firms said to retain positive attitude on 12-month outlook for activity, which remained historically elevated. Inflationary pressures continued to retreat.
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