The optimism among manufacturing companies has increased in June. Producer confidence was 6.4 in June, the highest level since November 2000. In May confidence fell slightly, but this was completely rectified in June.
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.
Manufacturers were more positive about all three component indicators. Producers of investment and consumer goods, in particular, were more positive about their future production. Satisfaction with the order books rose by most among producers of semi-manufactured products. The order books of the Dutch manufacturing industry, expressed in months of work, have not been this full since January 1993. The number of manufacturers who think their stocks of finished product are too large has decreased; the number who think that stocks are too low has increased.
In June, 11 percent of manufacturing companies expect employment to decrease in the coming three months. Ten percent of companies expect to recruit more staff. The percentage of manufacturers who want to reduce staff has not been this low since January 2001. It would seem that the decrease in employment in the manufacturing industry is coming to an end. The number of manufacturers of investment goods who expect to recruit more staff is already larger than the number who expect to reduce staff.
In the coming three months, 15 percent of manufacturers expect to raise their prices, while only 3 percent expect to lower them. The number of manufacturers who expect lower prices continues to decrease, especially among producers of consumer goods. Producers of semi-manufactured products and investment goods, on the other hand, expect prices to increase