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.
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.
|September 2018||August 2018|
|Wood and construction||13.4||16.1|
|Textiles, clothes, leather||10.2||10.4|
|Paper and printing||9.4||10.6|
|Electrotechnical products and machinery||8||6.7|
|Food, beverages, tobacco||2||4.8|
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.