Producer confidence in the manufacturing industry was 5.9 in March 2006. The optimism among Dutch manufacturers further increased with this figure and confidence reached the highest level in more than five years. Dutch economy was in a period of high growth then.
Producer confidence in March was 1.3 point higher than in February. It is the third month in a row that the confidence of Dutch manufacturers increased.
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 March manufacturers were particularly more optimistic about their order books. Their order position reached the highest level in five years. They were also more positive about their future production. They were less satisfied with their stocks of finished products.
Manufacturers expect hardly any reduction of staff. Only 13 percent of the manufacturing companies intend to reduce staff, whereas 10 percent have plans to recruit new staff in March to May. These figures are the most positive since June 2001.
The Business survey of March shows that mood improved in most industries. The petroleum, chemicals and rubber industry was the only industry which shows a slightly worsened picture. The textile industry gave a mixed picture.