Dutch manufacturers remain optimistic

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers hardly changed in February. The producer confidence indicator fell from 3.2 in January to 3.1 in February. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers. Manufacturers in the wood and construction industry are most optimistic.

Confidence among manufacturers is still well above its long-term average over the past two decades (0.5). With 9.4, the confidence indicator reached an all-time high in January 2008, but dipped to an all-time low (- 23.5) more than one year later.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)

Manufacturing industry more positive about future output and order books

In February, Dutch manufacturers were more positive about their future output in the next three month and their order books, but less positive about their stocks of finished products.

All three component indicators of producer confidence remain positive. Manufacturers who anticipate output growth over the next three months outnumber those expecting output to decline during this period. Given the time of year, manufacturers who think the number of orders they received is large outnumber those who think the opposite. Lastly, manufacturers who define their stocks of finished products as too small still constitute a majority over those who define their stocks of finished products as too large.

Producers in the wood and construction industry most optimistic

Manufacturers in the wood and construction industry are most optimistic, followed by the food, beverages and tobacco industry. Manufacturers in the wood and construction sector are very positive about their order books. Manufacturers of transport equipment are the least positive.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)

Year-on-year manufacturing output higher in December

Several weeks ago, CBS reported that the average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry in December 2015 was 2.4 percent up from December 2014. This is mainly due to output growth in the pharmaceutical, metal and chemical industries.