The mood among Dutch manufacturers deteriorated in March 2015. The producer confidence indicator decreased from 2.0 in February to 1.4 in March. Statistics Netherlands announced today that this was the third month in a row that producer confidence decreased. The decrease in March is due to the fact that Dutch manufacturers were more negative about their future output. In spite of this decrease, the mood among Dutch manufacturers has been positive over the past six months.
In March 2015, confidence among manufacturers is above its long-term average over the past two decades (0.4). In January 2008, the indicator reached an all-time high (9.4) and in February 2009 the indicator dipped to an all-time low of - 23.5.
Manufacturing industry more negative about future output
In March, manufacturers were more negative about their output over the next three months. For the first time since October 2014, pessimists outnumber optimists with respect to this component indicator. On the other hand, manufacturers were more positive about their order books and their stocks of finished products.
Manufacturers expecting their output to decrease during the next three months outnumber those expecting an increase. Taking the time of year into account, manufacturers who think their order position is too large prevail. The number of manufacturers who think their stocks of finished products are too small (positive) in view of projected sales outnumbered those who think their stocks are too large (negative).
Less output and larger stocks than one year previously
Earlier this month, Statistics Netherlands reported that the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry in January this year was 1.5 percent below the level of January 2014. A closedown in the tobacco industry has had a considerable negative effect on production growth in recent months. Manufacturers’ stocks of finished products were 8.6 percent up in January 2015 from January 2014. For almost a year now, stocks of finished products have been higher than twelve months previously.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.