Producer confidence hardly changes

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© ANP / David Rozing
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 8.9 in December, down from 9.1 in November. This is the second highest level this year. Manufacturers were less positive about their future output.

The confidence indicator is well above its long-term average in the past two decades (0.7). Business confidence reached an all-time high (9.4) in January 2008, but dipped to an all-time low (-23.5) more than twelve months later. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.

Less positive about future output

In December, manufacturers were slightly less positive about their future output in the next three months. However, the mood among Dutch manufacturers about their order books improved and they were also slightly more positive about stocks of finished products.

All component indicators of producer confidence are positive for December 2017. Manufacturers anticipating output growth over the next three months outnumber those expecting output decline. More manufacturers consider the number of orders they receive to be large, rather than small, given the time of year. The number of manufacturers defining their stocks of finished products as too small is also larger than those who define them as too large.

Producers in wood and construction industry most positive

Already for more than a year, optimism has prevailed across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. Most optimistic in December were producers in the wood and construction industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted), December 2017
Wood and
Paper and printing11.5
Electrotechnical products
and machinery

Manufacturing output 4 percent up in October

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4 percent up in October 2017 compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in September. For two years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth was seen in the transport equipment industry.

German producer confidence also less positive

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Confidence (i.e. the IFO index) in December was slightly lower than the record high in November. German manufacturers were also less positive about their future output. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was 2.5 percent higher in October 2017 than one year previously.