Growing confidence among manufacturers

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© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 4.7 in December, up from 3.4 in November. Manufacturers are more positive about their order books and their future output. Producers in the wood and construction industry are most optimistic.

Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers. Confidence 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.

More positive about order books and future output

In December, Dutch manufacturers were more positive about their order books and future output over the next three months than they were in November. They were also slightly more positive about their stocks of finished products.

In December, all 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. The number of manufacturers who define their stocks of finished products as too small outnumber those who define them as too large.

Producers in the wood and construction industry most positive

Confidence is positive across all subsectors of manufacturing industry. Producers in the wood and construction industry are most optimistic, followed by their counterparts in the textile and clothing industry, but confidence improved most notably among manufacturers in the sector transport equipment.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Wood and
Electrotechnical products
and machinery
Paper and printing7.5

Manufacturing output continues to grow

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.6 percent up in October 2016 from October 2015. The growth rate was significantly lower than in September. Over the past thirteen months, however, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously.

German producer confidence also improved

Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were also more optimistic in December than in November. The average daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was 1.3 percent higher in October 2016 than in October 2015.