The mood among manufacturers improved slightly in October. Producer confidence stood at 0.5, up from -0.1 in September. The positive and negative answers were in balance, just as in previous months.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: expected output in the next three months, producers’ opinions on stocks of finished products and their opinions on their order books.
Producers were slightly less optimistic about their future output than in September. However, manufacturers expecting output to decrease were still clearly outnumbered by those expecting an increase. Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products improved slightly. Manufacturers were marginally less negative about their order positions.
Producers reported a small increase in received orders in the past three months. The number of manufacturers expecting employment in their branch to increase in the next three months virtually equalled the number expecting a decrease.
Manufacturers indicated that their competitive position on the domestic market had improved slightly in the third quarter, and remains stable on the foreign market. They were just as optimistic about future sales abroad as in the previous quarter. One quarter of manufacturers said insufficient demand was a main factor slowing down production.
The capacity utilisation rate rose from 80.2 percent in July to 80.6 in October. In spite of the increase, this is still extremely low. Over the past two decades, the manufacturing industry has continually been using between 80 and 87 percent of its production capacity. The number of manufacturing companies who considered their production capacity as too large for future demand was less than in the previous quarter.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry