ALMOST 11% DROP IN INDUSTRY FOR Q1
The drop in industry for the first three months of 2002 is 10.6% from the same period of 2001, data of the National Statistics Institute (NSI) show. Thus, the downward trend from the beginning of the year was confirmed.Indeed, a certain growth from February was registered in March, but it was only seasonal. Compared to the same month of 2001, sales in the third month of 2002 were 11% down. The decline was 12% in February and 8.2% in January.It's impessive that production of clothes, which has been one of the most dynamic branches so far, shrank. Metallurgy and chemical industry registered a significant drop, by 31% and 15%, respectively. Machine-building showed fluctuations. Some of its sub-branches were badly affected, but the production of office equipment marked a 38% growth. Production of telecommunications equipment increased, too.The data about the decline in industry render the very questionable the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2002, as this sector accounts for more than 25% of the GDP. Therefore, the drop in the branch may be only compensated by a significant (more than 5%) increase in the sphere of services. In order to fulfill the projection for GDP-growth, services should rise steeply (by some 10-15%), which seems almost impossible.