Moldova’s industrial output increased by 2.5% y/y in January-November, driven by several sectors where foreign investors have developed production facilities while light industry keeps losing ground due to the lack of workforce. The manufacturing industries performed even better (+3.5% y/y), while the activity in the utilities sector decreased (-3.7% y/y).
Moldova’s industry expanded at rates between 3% and 4% in 2017-2018, after weaker performances during the previous two years, while the performance in the manufacturing sector in 2019 confirms the same moderately good trend. But the growth is rather volatile and the shift of the exports toward CS countries, possibly amid weaker demand from the European Union, and during the domestic political turmoil as well, contributed to this.
Exports to EU declined by 3.4% y/y to $1.82bn in the rolling 12 months ending November, while exports to the CIS increased by 3.1% y/y to $434mn. President Igor Dodon, after appointing his adviser as prime minister, resumed efforts towards closer economic ties with Russia and its partners.
The sectors that supported industrial growth in Moldova last year were those of electronic and optical devices manufacturing (+41% y/y in January-November), cars and tows production (+32% y/y), while the production of metallic constructions and rubber and plastic contributed as well (+18% y/y in both industries). In contrast, the production of textiles decreased by 14.5% y/y and the production of clothing by 7.9% y/y. The production of alcoholic beverages, which holds an important share in country’s economy, increased by 4.1% y/y and the food industry advanced by 5.6% y/y as well.