Manufacturers remained optimistic in March, though less than in the preceding months. Producer confidence in the manufacturing industry was 6.1 in March, as against 8.5 in February. Manufacturers have been very optimistic over the past eighteen months. In January this year, the mood indicator even reached an unprecedented height.
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 their future output, manufacturers were also optimistic in March, though considerably less than in the preceding month. Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks were less positive than in February. Their opinions on order position - already positive in February- improved slightly further in March.
In March, the number of manufacturers reporting an increase in orders received again outnumbered those who anticipate a reduction. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) improved further to reach 116.3. The index has not been this high in seventeen years.
Manufacturers also remained optimistic about employment in March. The number of manufacturers expecting to have to recruit new staff again outnumbered those expecting to have to cut back on staff. This has been the case for over a year now.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry