Optimism among Dutch manufacturers is fading. Producer confidence in the manufacturing industry was 3.0 in April, compared with 6.1 in March. Confidence is back at the level of December 2005.
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, manufacturers were far less optimistic in April than in March. They remained satisfied with their order position, although it deteriorated compared with March. Opinions on stocks did not alter.
In April, the number of manufacturers reporting an expected reduction in orders received outnumbered those who anticipate an increase. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) fell slightly, and stood at 114.7 in April. In March, the index reached its highest point in seventeen years at 116.3. Manufacturers remained optimistic about employment.
According to Dutch manufacturers, their competitive position both on the domestic and the foreign market hardly changed. Manufacturers do expect an increase in foreign sales, however. In April, the capacity utilisation rate of production installations virtually equalled that in January, at 83.4 and 83.3 percent respectively.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry