Dutch manufacturing companies are still in a positive mood in May. They are considerably less optimistic than in april, however. Producer confidence went down from 6.1 in April to 3.3 in May. Producer confidence is now back at the level around the turn of the year.
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.
Dutch manufacturers are especially less positive about expected production in the next three months. This tempered optimism is reported by producers of investment goods and of consumer goods. In addition, manufacturers are slightly less satisfied with stocks of finished products than last month. Opinions on their orders are unchanged, and still very positive.
In May 2006, 14 percent of manufacturers expect to raise the prices of their products, while 6 percent expect lower prices. The number of manufacturing companies who expect higher prices has thus not changed much from last month. Expectations for higher prices are concentrated in the sector producing semi-manufactured goods. Only a small majority of companies producing investment goods expect to raise prices. In the consumer goods industry, companies who foresee lower prices have a slight majority.
Manufacturing companies do not expect to increase their workforce yet. Around 13 percent want to reduce staff, while 9 percent expect to recruit more workers in the next three months.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry