In October, Dutch manufacturers were less negative than in September. The producer confidence index rose from -9.8 to -7.8. The indicator has obviously recovered since the all-time low in February, but the mood remains negative.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: producers’ opinions on their order books, their opinions on their stocks of finished products, and the expected output in the next three months.
Manufacturers were much less pessimistic with respect to their order position in October than in September. On the other hand, their opinions on their stocks of finished products deteriorated marginally. Manufacturers were slightly less gloomy with respect to future output.
Manufactures reporting a downturn in the value of the orders received in the past three months for the first time in over a year were outnumbered by those reporting an upswing. In October, manufacturers were slightly more pessimistic about future employment in their branch than in September.
The degree of capacity utilisation has gradually improved since the all-time low in April, but with 77.5 percent, it was still extremely low in October. From 1989 to 2008, capacity utilisation continually varied between 80 and 87 percent.
In October, manufacturers were slightly more pessimistic about their competitive position on the foreign market than in September. On the other hand, they were more optimistic about the expected value of orders they hope to receive from abroad in the coming three months.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry