Producer confidence down again

© Hollandse Hoogte / Hans van Rhoon
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Dutch manufacturers were less confident for the third consecutive month. Confidence stood at 5.9 in August, down from 6.3 in July. In August, manufacturers were mainly less positive about their order books and the future output than in the previous month.

However, the confidence indicator remains well above its long-term average over the past two decades (0.8). Producer confidence reached an all-time high (10.9) in February 2018 and an all-time low (-23.5) in February 2009. Since October 2014, optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
jaarmaandbalance
2014September-0.2
October2
November2.4
December3.4
2015January2.8
February2
March1.4
April3.3
May4.1
June4.6
July3.7
August3.5
September3.8
October2.4
November4
December3
2016January3.2
February3.1
March3.9
April4.7
May4.4
June5.4
July5.1
August1.2
September3.4
October4.3
November3.4
December4.7
2017January6
February7
March7.8
April8.3
May6.1
June7.2
July6.6
August5.4
September8.5
October8.2
November9.1
December8.9
2018January10.3
February10.9
March9.5
April8.2
May9.8
June7.7
July6.3
August5.9


Less positive about order books and future output

n August, Dutch manufacturers were slightly less positive about their order books and their future output than one month previously. However, they were slightly more positive about their stocks of finished products.

All component indicators of producer confidence are positive. Manufacturers anticipating output growth over the next three months outnumber those expecting output decline. More manufacturers consider the number of received orders to be large rather than small, given the time of year. There are also more manufacturers who define their stocks of finished products as too small rather than too large.

Producers in the wood and building materials industry most positive

For more than one year now, optimism has prevailed across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. In August, producers in the wood and building materials industry were again most positive, though they were less positive than in July.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component indicators)
 August 2018July 2018
Wood and construction16.121.1
Paper and printing10.68.1
Textiles, clothes, leather10.49.6
Transport equipment7.98.8
Petroleum7.58.7
Electrotechnical products and machinery6.75
Metal6.35
Food, beverages, tobacco4.82.5

Manufacturing output over 3 percent up in June

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.4 percent up in June compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was higher than in May (3.2 percent). For nearly three years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in June 2018 was seen in the electronics industry.

German manufacturers more positive

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In August, confidence of German manufacturers (i.e. the IFO index) increased for the first time in seven months. The index remains significantly above its long-term average. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was over 3 percent higher in June 2018 than one year previously.

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