According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 2.1 percent in October 2015 from the same month last year. This is mainly due to production growth in the electrical and chemical industry.
Production growth in electrical and chemical industry
Year-on-year output generated by the electrical industry grew by more than 7 percent in October. Output of the chemical industry grew by 6.5 percent. Output of transport equipment, rubber and plastic, metal, and food products was also up from twelve months previously.
Production generated by the pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, fell by over 7 percent relative to October 2014. Year-on-year output realised by the machinery industry also declined further, mainly due to fewer outstanding orders.
Altogether, the branches referred to in the above graph account for approximately 70 percent of total manufacturing output.
Manufacturing output varies considerably
Figures adjusted for seasonal variation and calendar effects provide a more reliable picture of short-term output developments. From September to October 2015, manufacturing output rose by 1.6 percent. The output in October approaches the level of April and June, when manufacturing output reached the highest level so far this year.
Because manufacturing output adjusted for seasonal variation shows an irregular pattern with many ups and downs, there is no obvious short-term trend. The average output generated by Dutch manufacturing in the first 10 months is somewhat higher than the average in 2014, but a fraction lower than before the crisis.
Dutch manufacturers more optimistic
Confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved in November relative to October, as reported last month by Statistics Netherlands. The producer confidence indicator rose from 2.4. in October to 4.0 in November. Producers’ opinions about future output have improved most noticeably.
Confidence among manufacturers (4.0) is still well above its long-term average over the past two decades (0.4). The confidence indicator reached an all-time high of 9.4 in January 2008, but dipped to an all-time low (- 23.5) more than one year later. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.
The mood among German manufacturers was also more positive in November than in October. Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry.