Dutch manufacturers have become slightly less pessimistic recently. In March, producer confidence rose by 2.1 points to -20.8. Especially with respect to their future output, manufacturers became less pessimistic. With -22.9, producer confidence reached the lowest level ever in February. After a sharp drop in the last four months of 2008, producer confidence remained fairly stable over the first three months of 2009.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: expected output in the next three months, producers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products and their opinions on their order books.
In March, manufacturers were less pessimistic with respect to their future output than one month previously. Yet, the number of manufacturers expecting output to increase was evidently outnumbered by those anticipating a decline. Manufacturers were also less negative about their stocks of finished products; the number of manufacturers reporting high stock levels shrank. Their opinions on their order positions deteriorated further. Over the past two decades, Dutch manufacturers have not been this negative with respect to their order positions.
Manufacturers remained extremely negative about future employment in their branch. They also indicated that the value of orders received had declined over the past three months. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) dropped from 102.2 in February to 101.4 in March.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry