Friday, the Statistics Finland said in a report that industrial output fell a working day adjusted 16.5% year-on-year in March, slower than a 21.5% drop in February.

During the month, output declined the most in the forest industry, by 29.6%. This was followed by a 19.9% fall in the metal industry's output. However, output rose 1.9% in the utilities industry and 0.2% in the food industry.

In March, the capacity utilization rate in manufacturing was 70%, representing a decline of 13.5 percentage points from the previous year.

In the January to March period, industrial output slipped about 20% from last year.

In a separate report, the statistical office said the value of new orders in manufacturing dropped 27.9% year-on-year in March, reflecting the eighth consecutive month of fall.

The metal industry showed the steepest decline in new orders, by 33.4%, followed by a 23.5% fall in orders in the manufacture of paper and paper products.

In the January to March period, new orders decreased 36.5% compared to the same period in the previous year.

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