Producer confidence at record high

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), confidence among Dutch manufacturers stood at 10.3 in January, up from 8.9 in December. Never before were manufacturers so optimistic. The old record is from January 2008 when producer confidence reached 9.4. Manufacturers were mainly more 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 (10.3) in January 2018. An all-time low (-23.5) was recorded in February 2009. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
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
2017 M6.1
2017 J7.2
2017 J6.6
2017 A5.4
2017 S8.5
2017 O8.2
2017 N9.1
2017 D8.9
2018 J10.3


More positive about future output

In January, manufacturers were more positive about their future output than one month previously. However, the mood among Dutch manufacturers about their order books deteriorated. Their mood about stocks of finished products hardly changed.


All component indicators of producer confidence are positive for January 2018. 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 transport equipment industry most positive

Already for more than a year, optimism has prevailed across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. Most optimistic in January were producers in the transport equipment industry. Last week, CBS reported that in November exports of machinery, appliances and cars increased again most notably. Furthermore, output generated by the transport equipment industry was over 18 percent up in November 2017 relative to the same month in 2016.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted), January 2018 (average of the component indicators)
Wood and
Electrotechnical products
and machinery
Paper and printing9.3

Industrial capacity utilisation rate at highest level since 2008

At the beginning of Q1 2018, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 83.5 percent. This is the highest level of the capacity utilisation rate in a decade.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter (%)
 capacity utilisation rate
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
2017 III83.4
2017 IV83.3
2018 I83.5

Manufacturing output over 4 percent up in November

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 4.4 percent up in November 2017 compared to the same month one year previously. The growth rate was slightly higher than in October. For over two years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year.


German producer confidence also at record high

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. Confidence (i.e. the IFO index) hit a record high in January. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was over 6 percent higher in November 2017 than one year previously.

Related items