Producer confidence lower than in February but still high

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry was 6.9 in March. The index is 0.9 percentage points down on February but manufacturers are still very positive. Since the summer of 2005, producer confidence has improved considerably. With 9.0, an all-time high was recorded in October 2006. Since then, the mood among manufacturers has remained positive.

Producer confidence is composed of three component indicators: anticipated output over the next three months, producers’ opinions about the stock of finished products and their opinions about the order position. The stock of finished products indicator improved marginally in March. Manufacturers were also optimistic about future production and order position, but marginally less than in February. Compared to February, fewer producers think they can increase output.

Producers who indicate that the number of orders received has increased outnumbered those who think order receipts have declined. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) remained virtually unchanged at 108.6.

Manufacturers also remained moderately optimistic with respect to employment. A small majority of manufacturers expect to have to recruit staff in March. The mood indicator on employment has improved distinctly over the past six months relative to the period 2001-2005.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry