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 February, Dutch manufacturers were mainly more positive about their order books than in the previous month. They were also more positive about their future output over the next three months. They were, on the other hand, more negative about their stocks of finished products.
In February, two 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.
Manufacturers are slightly negative about their stocks of finished products. In other words, 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 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. Manufacturers in the sector transport equipment are the least optimistic.
Manufacturing output continues to grow in December
The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.7 percent up in December 2016 from December 2015. The growth rate was significantly higher than in November. Over the past fifteen months, manufacturing output has stayed above the level of the same month one year previously.
German producer confidence also improves
Germany is an important foreign market for Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were also more optimistic in February than in January. The average daily output generated by German manufacturing industry was lower in December 2016 than in December 2015.