The mood among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated in March. The producer confidence indicator stood at – 2.6 versus – 1.5 in February. Manufacturers were noticeably more pessimistic about their order positions. In the two preceding months, producer confidence had remained fairly stable.
Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: manufacturers’ opinions on their order positions, the expected output over the next three months and opinions on their stocks of finished products.
Manufacturers’ opinions on their order positions deteriorated dramatically. Manufacturers were also slightly more pessimistic about their future output than in February. Opinions on stocks of finished products barely changed.
Manufacturers indicating that the value of the orders they received has grown in the past three months were outnumbered by those who reported a decline, although, with 103.5, the order position index (orders expressed in months of work) was marginally up on February (102.9).
Just as in the preceding months, the number of manufacturers anticipating staff cuts in the next three months was higher than the number of manufacturers expecting employment to improve. Yet, for the third consecutive month, the group expecting layoffs became smaller.
Producer confidence in manufacturing industry
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.