The mood among Dutch manufacturers has improved substantially in April 2015 according to Statistics Netherlands. The producer confidence indicator increased from 1.4 in March to 3.3 in April. This increase nearly compensated for the drop over the last three months. The improvement in April is due to the fact that Dutch manufacturers are far more positive about their future output.
In April 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 of 9.4, while it dipped to an all-time low of - 23.5 in February 2009.
Manufacturing industry clearly more positive about future output
In April, manufacturers were far more positive about their output over the next three months and somewhat more positive about their stocks of finished products as well. Their opinion about the order books remained positive.
All three component indicators are positive. There are more manufacturers who expect their output to increase over the next three months than manufacturers who expect a decrease. Taking the time of year into account, manufacturers who feel their order position is too large prevail. In addition, the number of manufacturers who feel their stocks of finished products are too small (positive) in view of projected sales outnumbered those who think their stocks are too large (negative).
Capacity utilisation increased
In the second quarter of 2015, the capacity utilisation rate in manufacturing reached 81.8 percent, the highest level since the start of the 2008 crisis. Capacity utilisation has been increasing almost continuously since the third quarter of 2013.
Earlier in April, Statistics Netherlands announced in that the average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing in February 2015 was down 0.2 percent on February 2014. Manufacturing output still suffered the effects from a major closedown in the tobacco industry. If this is not taken into account, manufacturing output would have been slightly higher than one year previously.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.