In the third quarter of 2014, Dutch manufacturing industry recorded a negative turnover growth of 1.7 percent relative to the same period last year. This is the first turnover decline after four quarters of sustained growth. The branches food, drinks and tobacco products and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products mainly accounted for the downturn.
With 4.1 percent, manufacturing turnover on the domestic market fell much more rapidly than on the foreign market (-0.6 percent). Over the past two years, the export market has shown significantly better results than the domestic market.
Turnover manufacturing industry
Petroleum derivatives and food, drinks and tobacco products account for downturn
Food, drinks and tobacco and petroleum derivatives, the two largest branches in the sector manufacturing industry, primarily account for the turnover fall in the third quarter. Turnover generated by the food, drinks and tobacco branch was 1.2 percent down compared to last year’s third quarter. Consistent with slumping oil prices, the branch petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products was 3.8 percent down from the third quarter last year. The oil industry reported a marginal 0.3 percent volume growth. Wood and construction materials faced a turnover loss of 6.4 percent in the third quarter, as a result of the problematic situation in the construction sector.
Transport equipment and textile products performed relatively well. Turnover in these branches has risen since the second quarter of 2013.
Turnover developments by sector
Growing confidence among manufacturers
Despite poor turnover results in the third quarter, confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved considerably in October. The business confidence indicator climbed from -0.2 in September to +2.0 in October. Manufacturers are much more positive about their anticipated output and their order books. The number of bankruptcies in the sector manufacturing industry also declined in the third quarter.
Business confidence manufacturing industry