During the pandemic, 9 out of 12 large industrial sectors increased the productivity of their plants

During the pandemic, 9 out of 12 large industrial sectors increased the productivity of their plants

The general average of manufacturing activity reached in November 2020 the highest level of activity in manufacturing as a whole in 16 months (EFE)

The general average of manufacturing activity in November 2020 reached the highest level of activity in manufacturing as a whole in 16 months, while the use of installed capacity, still well below optimal, was the highest in the general average. raised in 2 years.

The relationship between both indicators in full pandemic scenario and requirement to comply with preventive protocols for distancing from job positions that the companies had to adapt, allowed detect changes in manufacturing productivity in the general and particular order in the 12 major sectors of activity in which Indec breaks down the monthly information of the Monthly Industrial Estimator (EMI) and that corresponding to the Use of Installed Capacity in the Industry (UCII).

In the manufacturing average, in November 2020, compared to a year earlier, similar variations were observed between the increase in EMI, 4.5%; and in the UCII, 4.3%, at a simple average of 63.3%, which meant an idle capacity of just over a third of the potential, with extremes of use around 70% and 80% in the production of non-metallic minerals (cement, mainly); basic metallic (steel and iron); paper and paperboard; oil refining and chemicals and substances. And minimums below 50% in textile products; automotive and metalworking.

In November 2020, compared to a year earlier, similar variations were observed between the EMI increase, 4.5%; and in the UCII, 4.3%, at a simple average of 63.3% of the general potential

But in the breakdown by branch of activity, Infobae detected that in the case of production over 12 major sectors 3 remained on the recessionary path (tobacco products, textiles and heavily oil refining); one virtually stalled (publishing and printing) and the remaining 8 showed increases of different intensity.

While in the UCII the reduction, increase of the underutilization of manufacturing, comprised 4 items, added to those that recorded a decrease in production the manufacture of paper and cardboard; it was kept in the aggregate of the firms that produce chemicals and chemical products, and recovery intensified, also with notable disparity in the 7 segments remaining.

Higher overall efficiency

The The relationship between both indicators, EMI and UCII, allows us to observe how manufacturing in general adapted to the health crisis scenario, with the fulfillment of protocols in the management of personnel in the establishments that implied increases in adaptation costs and changes in factory productivity, that is, in the production rates not only per employed worker whose data is reported on a quarterly basis, but also by the combination of all factors, including machines, technology and processes.

Personnel management protocols in the establishments that implied increases in adaptation costs and changes in factory productivity

This exercise, according to INDEC data, determined improvements in 9 and decreases in 3, with very varied intensity, which made it possible to overall average out of 0.2 percentage points.

The branches that failed to exceed the level of November 2019, in general terms of the item, were the oil refineries, fell 3.9 percentage points; the group of manufacturers of food and beverages 5.1 pp; and the total of complex automotive manufacturers lost 5.9 pp in efficiency.

While among the activities that experienced notable improvements, with an increase in production of greater magnitude than in the use of installed capacity, tobacco manufactures stood out in the first place, 13.3 pp; metalworking, excluding the automotive industry 12.9 pp; cellulosic-paper mill 9.3 pp; and that of publishing and printing 5.1 percentage points.

In second place, the non-metallic minerals processors were located with an advance range of 2 to 3 percentage points; manufacturers of chemical substances and products and textile activity. And thirdly, with less significant improvements, the rubber and plastic manufacturer registered 1.2 pp and the basic metal industry 0.4 percentage points.

The challenge for the new year will be not only to maintain those factory productivity indices and recover the jobs that have fallen since April, but also to advance in the greater use of all installed capacity, in order to overcome the effect of the strong production slump generated between the second and third quarters, a phenomenon that will be seen, according to the market consensus forecasts, in the percentage variations of each month with respect to the previous year, but it will take time to be seen in the manufacturing units.

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Ben Oakley
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