Producer confidence in manufacturing industry stood at 7.8 in February 2007, i.e. 1.4 point up on January. Producer confidence has returned to the high level of December 2006. The mood among manufacturers has improved distinctly since the summer of 2005. In October 2006, it reached an all-time high and in the months that followed manufacturers remained in a positive mood.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: expected production over the next three months, opinions about the stock of finished products, and opinions about the order position. In February, opinions on the stock of finished products remained unchanged. Manufacturers were slightly more positive about future production than they were in January. They were also a bit more optimistic about the order position.
Manufacturers claim that the number of orders received increased further. The index showing order position (orders received expressed in months of work) rose further in February to 108.7, unprecedented since the autumn of 1992. The improvements are reflected in manufacturers’ opinions about their order position, which improved slightly in February.
Manufacturers also maintained a positive attitude about future employment. In February, a small majority of manufacturers expected to have to recruit staff. In the past six months, manufacturers have definitely been in a better mood about employment than in the period 2001-2005. Producers of investment goods in particular expect to expand staff.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry