Manufacturers a little more optimistic

The mood among manufacturers improved a little in January. The producer confidence indicator stood at 2.7 versus 2.5 in December 2010.

Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: producers’ opinions on their order books, their opinions on stocks of finished products and the expected output in the next three months.

Their opinions on both their order position and the stocks of finished products improved slightly. Expectations on future output, on the other hand, were a bit more pessimistic.

Dutch manufacturers reported an increase in the value of orders received in the last three months and expected selling prices to rise. At 102.7, the order position index (orders received expressed in months of work) was about the same as in December. Manufacturers’ expectations on future employment did not change much either. The number of manufacturers expecting employment in their branch to increase approximately equalled the number expecting a decrease.

Manufacturers indicated that their competitive position on both the domestic and the foreign market improved slightly in January compared with October 2010. Insufficient demand was considered a factor slowing down production by 22 percent of the manufacturers. This percentage is somewhat lower than in October, but still very high from a historical point of view.

The capacity utilisation rate remained very low; it dropped from 80.6 percent in October to 79.9 percent in January. Manufacturers considering their production capacity as too small were slightly outnumbered by those considering their capacity as too large.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry

Producer confidence

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.