Producer confidence at highest level in over 9 years.

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 8.3 in April, up from 7.8 in March. Manufacturers are especially more positive about their stocks of finished products. Producer confidence reached its highest level in more than 9 years.

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.

Producer confidence in manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)
2013 M-4.1
2013 J-3.8
2013 J-3.1
2013 A-1.4
2013 S-2.4
2013 O-0.3
2013 N-0.3
2013 D0.1
2014 J0.7
2014 F-0.1
2014 M1.1
2014 A0.3
2014 M0.7
2014 J0.7
2014 J1.2
2014 A0
2014 S-0.2
2014 O2
2014 N2.4
2014 D3.4
2015 J2.8
2015 F2
2015 M1.4
2015 A3.3
2015 M4.1
2015 J4.6
2015 J3.7
2015 A3.5
2015 S3.8
2015 O2.4
2015 N4
2015 D3
2016 J3.2
2016 F3.1
2016 M3.9
2016 A4.7
2016 M4.4
2016 J5.4
2016 J5.1
2016 A1.2
2016 S3.4
2016 O4.3
2016 N3.4
2016 D4.7
2017 J6
2017 F7
2017 M7.8
2017 A8.3

Notably more positive about stocks

In April, Dutch manufacturers were more positive about their stocks of finished products. They were also slightly more positive about their future output over the next three months, but less positive about their order books.

All three component indicators of producer confidence were positive in April. 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 wood and construction industry most positive

Confidence is positive across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. Just as in the previous months, producers in the wood and construction industry are most optimistic, followed by their counterparts in the textile, clothing and leather industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
Wood and
Paper and printing10.8
Electrotechnical products
and machinery

Industrial capacity utilisation rate improved

At the beginning of Q2 2017, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 82.8 percent. The rate reached its highest level since 2009.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter
 Series 0
2013 III77.4
2013 IV78.4
2014 I79.6
2014 II80.2
2014 III79.7
2014 IV80.3
2015 I80.4
2015 II81.8
2015 III82.3
2015 IV82.3
2016 I81.2
2016 II81.5
2016 III81.7
2016 IV82.2
2017 I81.3
2017 II82.8

Manufacturing output also up in February

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 5 percent up in February 2017 relative to the same month one year previously. The increase was higher than in January. Over the past seventeen months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month year-on-year. The strongest growth was seen in the transport equipment industry.

German producer confidence slightly deteriorated

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were somewhat less optimistic in April than in March. They were more positive about their current production levels, but slightly less positive about their future output. However, they do expect their production levels to increase. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was 1.4 percent higher in February 2017 than in the same month one year previously.


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