Producer confidence hardly changes

© Hollandse Hoogte / David Rozing
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has hardly changed. Confidence stood at 5.7 in September, down from 5.9 in August. In September, manufacturers were less positive about their future output than in the previous month.

The overall trend has been downward since the start of this year. 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)
2014 October2
2014 November2.4
2014 December3.4
2015 January2.8
2015 February2
2015 March1.4
2015 April3.3
2015 May4.1
2015 June4.6
2015 July3.7
2015 August3.5
2015 September3.8
2015 October2.4
2015 November4
2015 December3
2016 January3.2
2016 February3.1
2016 March3.9
2016 April4.7
2016 May4.4
2016 June5.4
2016 July5.1
2016 August1.2
2016 September3.4
2016 October4.3
2016 November3.4
2016 December4.7
2017 January6
2017 February7
2017 March7.8
2017 April8.3
2017 May6.1
2017 June7.2
2017 July6.6
2017 August5.4
2017 September8.5
2017 October8.2
2017 November9.1
2017 December8.9
2018 January10.3
2018 February10.9
2018 March9.5
2018 April8.2
2018 May9.8
2018 June7.7
2018 July6.3
2018 August5.9
2018 September5.7

Less positive about future output

In September, Dutch manufacturers were less positive about their future output. However, they were slightly more positive about their stocks of finished products. Manufacturers’ opinions on the order books hardly changed.

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 almost two years now, optimism has prevailed across all subsectors of the manufacturing industry. In September, producers in the wood and building materials industry were again most positive, although they were less positive than in August.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 September 2018August 2018
Wood and construction13.416.1
Textiles, clothes, leather10.210.4
Paper and printing9.410.6
Electrotechnical products and machinery86.7
Transport equipment3.17.9
Food, beverages, tobacco24.8

Manufacturing output 2 percent up in July

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2 percent up in July compared to the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in June. For almost three years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in July 2018 was seen in the transport equipment industry.

German manufacturers less positive

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In September, confidence of German manufacturers (i.e. the IFO index) decreased, but the index remains significantly above its long-term average. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was almost 1 percent higher in July 2018 than one year previously.

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