Output indices measure the change in monthly output within an economic area, with price changes eliminated. Owing to their monthly frequency and ready availability, output indices are up-to-date economic indicators. Highly detailed in terms of subdivision, they are calculated by economic sector. Particular attention is paid to output in the broadly defined production sector, in industry and in construction. Additional information on economic development is provided by productivity and labour costs in industry as well as by employment, labour costs and turnover in the main construction sector. Industrial output and industrial capacity utilisation are key measures when comparing euro area countries and the euro area as a whole.
The latest data are usually provisional and contain estimates. Seasonally and calendar-adjusted time series as well as just calendar-adjusted time series – depending on the indicator – are provided in addition to the unadjusted figures. Real-time data are available for selected indicators.
Output in the production sector
The output index calculated monthly by the Federal Statistical Office measures changes in the price-adjusted output of enterprises in the German production sector. It covers the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, energy and construction sectors.
Productivity and labour costs in industry
Each month, the Federal Statistical Office collects data on staff numbers, wages and salaries and actual hours worked in enterprises with at least 50 employees in the manufacturing as well as mining and quarrying sectors. Productivity and labour cost indices are derived from these data read in conjunction with those from the output survey.
Employment, labour costs and turnover in the main construction industry
The Federal Statistical Office supplies indicators for the short-term assessment of the economic situation in the construction sector. They include the number of employees, actual hours worked and remuneration. The survey is conducted for main construction industry enterprises with 20 or more employees.
Output in services
Due to the EBS Regulation, which came into effect in January 2020, European statistical offices currently compile indices for services production in addition to the existing indices for manufacturing production. For Germany, corresponding monthly data, as well as data on nominal revenues and the number of persons employed in the services sector are available as of the reporting month January 2021. These data derive from a sample of around 42% of firms operating in services and around 9% of firms operating in hotels and restaurants. The nominal revenues data are used to calculate real revenues and a services production index, which is provisional in nature until the reporting month of January 2024.
Industrial output in euro area countries and in the euro area
A common methodology is used by euro area countries to determine the monthly output indices for industry. Eurostat amalgamates the national data and uses them to calculate the industrial output index for the euro area. Industrial output is one of the indicators at the heart of economic observation in Europe. It is part of a set of principal European economic indicators (PEEIs) for economic and monetary policy.
Capacity utilisation in euro area countries and in the euro area
Industrial capacity utilisation is the utilisation rate as a percentage of the normal full capacity at which enterprises in the manufacturing sector can operate. The data are collected by national authorities on a quarterly basis in the form of business and consumer surveys (BCS) that are harmonised across Europe. Using the data from the euro area countries, Eurostat calculates capacity utilisation in the euro area.