The mood among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated extremely in December 2008. Compared with November, the indicator dropped by 11 points. This is the most substantial decrease since 1985, the first year the index was calculated on a monthly basis. Confidence stood at -20.1, the lowest level ever observed. In January 2008, confidence stood at 9.5, the highest level ever.
Producer confidence manufacturing industry
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: expected output in the next three months, producers’ opinions on their order books and their opinions on their stocks of finished products.
In December, manufacturers were more pessimistic than ever with respect to their future output. The number of manufacturers expecting a decrease in output in the next three months was significantly higher than the number expecting an increase. On balance, 38 percent of the manufacturers expected a decrease, compared with 12 percent in November.
Expected output in the next three months
Manufacturers’ opinions on their order position were also gloomier than ever. A net 32 percent of manufacturers judged their order position negatively, compared with 18 percent in November. They were more sombre about both the domestic and the foreign order positions.
Producers’ opinions on their order books
Manufacturers’ opinions on stocks of finished products deteriorated somewhat; slightly more manufacturers reported they had high stock levels.
Producers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products
Manufacturers reported a decrease in orders received during the last three months. They were more pessimistic about employment in their branch. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) dropped from 111.6 to 106.8, the lowest level in the last two years.