Manufacturing output up again in March

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© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4 percent up in March 2017 from March 2016. The growth rate was somewhat smaller than in February. Over the past eighteen months, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same month one year previously. The strongest growth was seen in the machinery industry.

Strongest production growth in machinery industry

Output generated by the machine industry was almost 13 percent up in March from March last year. Production in the chemical, the rubber and plastic products, the transport equipment and the metal products industry saw above-average growth as well. Output generated by the electrotechnical equipment industry also was up, but output generated by manufacturers of food products and pharmaceuticals was down from March 2016.

Average daily output by sector
 % change
Chemical products11.7
Rubber and plastic products9.3
Transport equipment7.3
Metal products4.1
Electrotechnical products1.3
Food products-0.7
Pharmaceutical products-1.4
Manufacturing (total)4

Altogether, the industries referred to in the above graph account for approximately 70 percent of total manufacturing output.

Manufacturing output shows positive trend

A more accurate picture of short-term output developments is obtained when figures are adjusted for seasonal effects and the working-day pattern. After adjustments, a decline is seen in the manufacturing output in March of almost 1 percent on the previous month. However production in general has been at a historically high level over the past quarter.

Adjusted for seasonal variation, manufacturing output shows an irregular pattern with many ups and downs, but since mid-2014, the overall trend has been upward.

Producer confidence reached highest level in 9 years

Confidence among Dutch manufacturers improved further in April and has reached its highest level in more than 9 years.

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. German manufacturers were somewhat less optimistic in April than in March. Manufacturers are nevertheless more satisfied with their current business situation this month. After increasing sharply last month, their business expectations, however, are somewhat less optimistic. Production is expected to rise.

The numbers in this publication are provisional and can be adjusted.