Producer confidence in the manufacturing industry was 4.6 in February 2006. The optimism among Dutch manufacturers further increased with this figure and confidence reached the highest level since the end of 2000. Dutch economy was in a period of high growth then.
Producer confidence is the mood indicator for the manufacturing industry. The figure consists of three component indicators: expected production over the next three months, manufacturers’ opinions on the stock of finished products and the order position.
In February Dutch manufacturers were particularly more optimistic about their future production. They were also more positive about their order books and stocks of finished products.
Only 13 percent of the manufacturing companies intend to reduce staff, whereas 9 percent have plans to recruit new staff in February to March. These figures are at around the same level as in January and the most positive since June 2001.
In the next months 18 percent of the manufacturers expect to raise prices of their products. In 2005 this percentage was still 11 percent on average. One in ten manufacturers expects higher prices.
The Business survey of February shows that mood differs per industry. The picture improves in the wood, building materials and other manufacturing industry and also shows slight improvements in the textile industry and the petroleum, chemicals and rubber industry. The publishing and printing industry gave a mixed picture, while the picture in the food, drinks and tobacco industry and the metal industry worsened slightly.