Producer confidence lower

In February 2004 Dutch manufacturers are more pessimistic than in the previous month. Producer confidence fell to -3.0. The upward trend that set in since the lowest point (-9.4) was reached in June 2003 is now interrupted, though producer confidence is still higher than in the first eleven months of 2003, as figures published by Statistics Netherlands show.

Less optimism about expected production

Producer confidence is composed of three component indicators: expected production, manufacturers’ opinions on stocks of finished products and the order position. In February manufacturers are far less optimistic about the expected production in the three months to come. Their opinions about the stock of finished products remained virtually unchanged, whereas their assessment of the order position improved further.

Manufacturers receive more orders

Dutch manufacturers report to have received more foreign and domestic orders resulting in a slightly improved order position. The sectors semi-manufactured products and investment goods improved their order positions, but in the sector consumer goods there was no improvement in the order position.

On balance, one in eight companies expect staff reductions will be inevitable in the months to come. In the past months more entrepreneurs were pessimistic about layoffs.

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