Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers. In spite of the decline in May, the confidence indicator is still considerably above the level of 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.
Notably less positive about future output and order books
In May, Dutch manufacturers were clearly less positive about their future output in the next three months and about their order books. They were also less positive about their stocks of finished products. Nonetheless, all component indicators of producer confidence were positive in May.
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 is also larger than the number of manufacturers who define them as too large.
Producers in the textile and clothing industry most positive
Optimism prevails across all subsectors of manufacturing industry. Producers of textile, clothing and leather products are most optimistic in May, followed by their counterparts in the wood and construction industry. Confidence among manufacturers in the transport equipment industry improved. In nearly all other branches confidence deteriorated.