Dutch manufacturers cautiously optimistic

24/06/2014 15:00

The mood among Dutch manufacturers did not change in May relative to June. According to Statistics Netherlands, the producer confidence indicator remained stable at 0.7. Manufacturers have been cautiously optimistic over the past four months.

Less negative about their order positions

Manufacturers were less negative about their order positions in June than in May, but they were slightly less positive about their output in the next three months and about their stocks of finished products. Optimism about future output declined for the third month in a row.

Earlier this month, Statistics Netherlands announced that manufacturing output had continuously been higher than twelve months previously in the period October 2013-April 2014. The capacity utilisation rate in manufacturing industry has increased over the past year. Investments in production capacity (machinery, equipment, computers) have also grown.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry

More pessimistic about employment

For the second consecutive month, manufacturers were more negative about future employment in their branch than in the previous month. In June, 15.0 percent of manufacturers anticipated staff cuts during the next three months, whereas 9.6 percent expected employment in their branch to improve. According to information published earlier by Statistics Netherlands, the number of employee jobs in manufacturing was declining in the first quarter of 2014 relative to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Expectations about development of workforce in the next three months

Expectations about development of workforce in the next three months

Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: manufacturers’ opinions on their order positions, their opinions on their stocks of finished products and the projected output over the next three months.

More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.

For more information on economic indicators, the reader is referred to the Economic Monitor.