Manufacturing industry from 1970 to 2014 – More pronounced decline in its weight in the economy from 2000 to 2007

Élisabeth Rignols, division Industrie et agriculture, Insee

From 1970 to 2014, the value added of the manufacturing industry increased sharply. However, its weight in the overall economy was halved to 11.2%. This decline was mainly due to lower relative prices driven by faster productivity gains in the manufacturing industry than in the economy as a whole. There was a particularly sharp downturn from 2000 to 2007. It eased from 2007 to 2014 while the value added of the manufacturing industry contracted. Several phenomena have played a role since 1970: outsourcing, foreign competition and demand structure. Indeed, industrial enterprises outsourced some of their activities to services, mainly during the 1990s. In addition, foreign competition intensified. Imports of manufactured goods were more dynamic than domestic production in value and volume. The price of imports is conversely more contained than production and export prices. The manufacturing trade balance deteriorated between 1997 and 2011 and has been in deficit since 2007. Finally, the structure of demand changed substantially in favour of services, especially in the 1990s; this effect has nevertheless diminished since the crisis with the marked slowdown in prices of services.

Insee Première
No 1592
Paru le : 26/04/2016