Producer confidence in the Dutch manufacturing industry reached 0.7 in December 2004. This is over 1 percent point down from November. Although producer confidence reached the lowest level since April this year, it is well above the record low of June 2003, according to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands.
Dutch entrepreneurs more sombre about the future.
Producer confidence is the mood indicator for the Dutch manufacturing industry. The figure is made up of three indicators: expected production over the next three months, opinions about the stock of finished products, and opinions about the order position.
The main cause of the decrease in producer confidence during December is the more pessimistic outlook producers have on production over the next three months. Most producers of consumption and of investment goods expect production to fall. In recent months they expected a rise in production.
Also, their opinions on the stock of finished products are slightly more negative. However, producers are a bit more positive about their order position.
Smaller order portfolio
Dutch producers received fewer orders in November, both on the domestic and on the international market. Their order portfolio, expressed in months of work ahead, fell slightly. This is true for producers of semi-finished products and for producers of investment goods. Producer opinions on the orders received did not change.
One in six entrepreneurs expects to reduce their workforce in the next few months. Only one in 25 expects to hire. Almost a quarter of the producers expect higher selling prices, versus one in ten who expect lower selling prices. The producers of semi-manufactured goods are mainly expecting price increases.
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