Manufacturers optimistic

Manufacturers are exceptionally optimistic in January. Producer confidence in the manufacturing industry is 9.5,  the highest value since 1985, when Statistics Netherlands started this series. The mood indicator for the manufacturing industry has been high for one and a half years now.

Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: anticipated output in the next three months, and producers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products and on their order books. With respect to expected output in particular, manufacturers were a lot more optimistic in January than the month before. Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products and on their order books were slightly less positive.

The number of manufacturers reporting 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) improved slightly, to 113.3.

Manufacturers remained optimistic about employment. In January, the number of manufacturers expecting to have to recruit new staff again outnumbered those expecting to have to cut back. This has been the case for over a year now. Companies also foresee higher selling prices in the next three months.

According to Dutch manufacturers, their competitive position on the domestic market has improved again slightly. With respect to the foreign market both within and outside the EU, they are more cautious. In their opinion, the competitive position on the EU market has improved a little, while on the non-EU-market it has deteriorated slightly. Manufacturers expect an increase in foreign sales. The capacity utilisation rate of production installations fell fractionally, to 83.3 in January.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry