Producer confidence continues to grow

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) says confidence among Dutch manufacturers is improving further, due to the fact that manufacturers are more positive about their future output. The producer confidence indicator stood at 4.3 in October, up from 3.4 in September. After the setback in August, producer confidence is on its way to recovery. Manufacturers in the paper and printing industry are most positive.

Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers. Confidence among Dutch manufacturers is significantly above its long-term average over the past two decades (0.6). The business 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.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)

More positive about future output

In October, Dutch manufacturers are more positive about their future output over the next three months than in September, but less positive about their order books and their stocks of finished products.

In October, two of the three component indicators of producer confidence were positive. Manufacturers anticipating output growth during the next three months outnumber those expecting output to decline in this period. Given the time of year, manufacturers who think the number of orders they received is large constitute a majority over those who think the opposite.

On the other hand, manufacturers are negative about their stocks of finished products for the first time in almost two years. The number of manufacturers who define their stocks of finished products as too large outnumber those who define them as too small.

Producers in the paper and printing industry most positive

Producers in the paper and printing industry are most optimistic, followed by their counterparts in the wood and building materials industry. However, confidence improved most noticeably among manufacturers of transport vehicles and equipment, immediately followed by the paper and printing industry. This is mainly based upon their future output prospects.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Paper and printing14.3
Wood and construction11.3
Electrotechnical products and machinery6.1
Transport equipment3

Industrial capacity utilisation rate slightly improving

At the beginning of Q4 2016, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 82.2 percent, somewhat higher than in the preceding quarter. Over the past eighteen months, the rate has varied between 81 and 82 percent.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter

Growth manufacturing output continues

On a year-on-year basis, the average daily output generated by Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.2 percent up in August 2016, but the growth rate slowed down a bit relative to July. Over the past eleven months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously. Output realised by the transport equipment sector increased most rapidly in August.

German producer confidence also further up

Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were also more optimistic in October than in September. Their confidence indicator reached the highest level in more than two years. The average daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was 2.3 percent higher in August 2016 than in August 2015.