Producer confidence in manufacturing industry improved further and was at 1.3 in September, the highest score since March 2005. In August producer confidence was still in the negative range. Producers in manufacturing industry are remarkably positive about their order positions and they also expect output to rise. On the other hand, they do not intend to recruit personnel, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.
Opinion on order position improved
Producer confidence is a mood indicator for the manufacturing industry. It consists of three components: expected output in the next three months, opinions on stocks of finished product and opinions on the order position.
In September producer confidence in manufacturing industry is 1.6 points above August’s level. Producer confidence in September is slightly above the average over the previous twenty months and far above the trough in 2003.
Dutch manufacturers are evidently more positive in September about their order position. Besides, more producers in manufacturing industry expect output to rise in the next three months. This applies in particular to producers of investment goods. Manufacturers’ opinions on stocks of finished product are somewhat more negative.
Most manufacturers think staff cuts cannot be avoided
Improved producer confidence has no positive effect on employment. Conversely, one in seven entrepreneurs expect to have to reduce the size of their workforce in the coming months, whereas only one in twenty intend to recruit new staff. These rates have hardly changed over the past eighteen months.
One in eleven manufacturers anticipate higher selling prices and one in fourteen anticipate lower prices. Producers of semi-manufactured goods in particular expect prices to rise.
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