Confidence among manufacturers improves further

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According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 6.0 in January 2017, up from 4.7 in December. Manufacturers are more positive about their order books in particular. Producer confidence reached its highest level since March 2008.

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 January, Dutch manufacturers were mainly more positive about their order books than in the previous month. They were also more positive about their stocks of finished products and future output over the next three months.

In January, 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 petroleum and chemical industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Wood and
Petreoleum, chemical, rubber, plastic10.7
Textiles, clothes, leather8.6
Electrotechnical products
and machinery
Paper and printing6.5
Food, drinks, tobacco1.7

Manufacturing output continues to grow in November

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.9 percent up in November 2016 from November 2015. The growth rate was significantly higher than in October. Over the past fourteen months, manufacturing output has stayed above the level of the same month one year previously.

German producer confidence deteriorated somewhat

Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were somewhat less optimistic in January than in December. The average daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was 2.7 percent higher in November 2016 than in November 2015.

Industrial capacity utilisation rate slightly deteriorated

At the beginning of Q1 2017, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 81.3 percent, somewhat lower than in the preceding quarter. Over the past two years, the rate has varied between 81 and 82 percent. The industrial capacity utilisation rate of the German manufacturing industry improved somewhat en stood at 86 percent.