Optimism among Dutch manufacturers continues

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers in May was 4.4. The manufacturers are less positive than in April when producer confidence reached the highest level in 5 years with 4.7. Manufacturers are less positive about their future output.

Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers, especially among those in the wood and construction industry.

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

More positive about order books, less positive about future output

In May, Dutch manufacturers were more positive about their order books, but less positive about their future output in the next three months. The mood among manufacturers about their stocks of finished products hardly changed.

In May, all three component indicators of producer confidence are 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 wood and construction industry most optimistic

Manufacturers of wood and construction materials are most optimistic, followed by producers of paper and printing. Manufacturers in the wood and construction industry are positive about their future output and order books in particular.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Wood and construction15.8
Paper and printing6.9
Electrotechnical products and machinery6.9
Transport equipment5.7

Declining growth manufacturing output

Several weeks ago, CBS reported that the average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry in March 2016 was 0.3 percent up from March 2015.The growth was smaller than in the previous months. However the trend is still upward.

German producer confidence improves further

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Contrary to their Dutch colleagues, German manufacturers were more optimistic in May than in April. Daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was also higher in March 2016 than in March 2015.