The industrial production index (chart) picked up by 3.0% q/q (seasonally adjusted terms) and its annual decrease moderated to 0.7% y/y in Q3, Moldova’s statistics bureau announced.
But the overall performance remains sluggish, marking more than two years of decline that brought Moldova’s industrial activity back to the levels seen in 2017. The pockets of growth are few, but notably driven by local investors in the sectors of metallurgy and pharmaceuticals.
The industrial output in the 12-month period to September 2023 contracted by 7.3% y/y, compared to a more moderate 3.1% y/y contraction in 2022.
The manufacturing industries posted worse performances with a 8.5% y/y decline for the 12-month period to September.
There are, however, pockets of growth, such as in the manufacturing of electric equipment (+21.4% y/y in the 12-month period), electronic equipment (+6.6% y/y) and other machinery (+118% y/y). These sectors are associated with foreign investors in the car parts and electronics parts industries.
The manufacturing of pharmaceuticals also saw a robust 25.7% y/y advance. The country’s major medicines producer, Balkan Pharmaceuticals, is heavily expanding including with a factory in Romania scheduled for completion in 2023.
Metallurgy also posted a robust positive 12.4% y/y advance. This comes on top of significant advances in 2022. New steel company Omnisteel was set up in 2021 and in 2022 it already took over half of the capital of Laminorul Danube Metallurgical Enterprise (LDME), which owns and operates the steel pipe production unit in Romania.
In contrast, food manufacturing is losing ground (-11.5% y/y), but this is after a 24.5% y/y advance in 2022.