Private sector and consumers are very positive about the economy, as evaluations of the mood among them conducted by Statistics Netherlands and the European Commission show. Mid-2003, confidence among consumers and producers in the sectors manufacturing industry, construction and business services plummeted to a low, but since then confidence has improved distinctly. The current mood of optimism agrees with the period of economic upturn.
Producer and consumer confidence
Consumer confidence on the way up
Consumer confidence is gradually growing. Today, optimists vastly outnumber pessimists. In June 2007, the confidence index reached the highest score in six and a half years.
Mid-2003, consumer confidence was at a low ebb and pessimists easily outnumbered optimists. Since then, consumers’ opinions on the economic climate have improved considerably and their willingness to buy also improved, though to a much lesser degree.
Manufacturers very positive
Manufacturers have been in high spirits for more than a year now. In 2003, producer confidence was still in a crisis. Subsequently, the mood gradually shifted. In July and October 2006, new records were set. In the following period, the mood indicator has remained very positive.
Opinions among providers of business services
Providers of business services very optimistic
The mood among providers of business services has clearly improved since the summer of 2003. Opinions on orders received improved steadily to reach an all-time high in the second quarter of 2007. Their opinions on the economic climate also picked up.
Producers of goods and services are also increasingly optimistic about prospective orders, sales and employment.
Producer confidence in the Dutch construction sector
Soaring confidence in construction sector
The mood in the construction sector is also excellent. Figures presented by the European Commission reveal that the producer confidence index in the Dutch construction sector has grown substantially since mid-2003. In June, the index had almost reached the value recorded at the end of 2000.
Karlijn Bakker and Sidney Vergouw