Producers' confidence unchanged

Producers’ confidence in the manufacturing industry is 0.5 in August. This is the same as in July. Producers’ confidence is now well above the low point in June 2003. In August producers were again more optimistic about their stocks of finished products, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

Opinion on stocks improved

Producers’ confidence is a sentiment indicator for the manufacturing industry. It consists of three component indicators: expected production in the coming three months, opinions on stocks of finished product and  opinions on the orders received. Compared with last month expected production in the coming three months and opinions on orders received are slightly more sombre. On the other hand opinions on stocks of finished products have improved again. Fewer and fewer manufacturers think their stocks are too high. Opinions on stocks have not been this favourable since November 2000. In the chemical industry in particular a growing number of companies think their stocks are insufficient.

Orders down slightly

Compared with June, manufacturing companies received more orders from abroad and fewer from the Netherlands in July. Total orders were down on the June. Manufacturers were also slightly more dissatisfied about the orders they received. They judge their orders books positively, but less so than in the previous month.

Producers of semi-manufactured products and capital goods expect to increase production in the next three months, producers of consumer goods expect to produce less.

One in seven manufacturing companies expect to reduce their staff in the coming months, while one in twenty expect to take on more employees. Producers of semi-manufactures in particular expect to raise their prices, mainly because of price developments on the oil and steel markets.

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