Producer confidence in manufacturing industry was 8.0 in December. The index is 0.7 percentage points down on November, but manufacturers are still optimistic. The mood indicator for manufacturing industry has been high for an unprecedented period of eighteen months. Producer confidence over 2007 averaged 7.8, as against 6.7 over 2006. The index over 2005 averaged only 0.6.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: anticipated output over the next three months, producers’ opinions on the stock of finished products and the order position. In December, manufacturers were less optimistic about their future output than in November. Yet, manufacturers who foresee an increase in production still outnumber those who anticipate to have to cut back on production. Manufacturers’ opinions on their stock of finished products improved marginally. Their opinions on their order position hardly changed.
The number of manufacturers signalling an increase in orders received approximately equals those who anticipate a reduction. This applies to the domestic as well as the foreign market. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) dropped slightly to 112.5.
Manufacturers also remained optimistic about employment. In December, the number of manufacturers expecting to have to recruit new staff again outnumbered those expecting to have to cut back on staff. Manufacturers also foresee higher selling prices in the three months to come.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry