Dutch manufacturers have become slightly less pessimistic in April compared to the preceding month. Producer confidence rose by 3.4 points to -17.4. For the second month in a row, the indicator increased somewhat. In February producer confidence reached the lowest level since 1985.
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 April, manufacturers were far less pessimistic with respect to their future output than one month previously. Yet, manufacturers expecting output to increase were clearly outnumbered by those anticipating a decline. Manufacturers also remained pessimistic about their stocks of finished products. Their opinions on their order positions also remained negative.
The degree of capacity utilisation dropped to the lowest level ever and stood at 74.3 percent in April, as against 76.7 percent in January. Over 40 percent of manufacturers considered insufficient demand to be an important obstacle to production.
Manufacturers were more pessimistic about future employment in their branch. The value of orders received, on the other hand, improved marginally in the past three months. The order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) increased from 101.4 in March to 102.0 in April.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry