Producer confidence hardly changes

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has hardly changed in October 2018. Confidence stood at 5.9 in October, up from 5.7 in September. Producer confidence has been fairly stable over the past three months.

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)
jaarmaandbalance
2014November2.4
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
September5.7
October5.9

More positive about future output

In October, Dutch manufacturers were more positive about their future output than in the previous month. Manufacturers’ opinions on the order books also improved slightly. However, they were less positive about their stocks of finished products.

Two component indicators of producer confidence are positive and one is in balance. 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 just as many manufacturers who define their stocks of finished products as too small than as 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 October, producers in the wood and building materials industry were most positive for the eight consecutive month.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 October 2018September 2018
Wood and construction16.213.4
Electrotechnical products and machinery108
Textiles, clothes, leather7.210.2
Metal6.59.2
Paper and printing6.29.4
Food, beverages, tobacco62
Petroleum2.47.2
Transport equipment1.13.1

Industrial capacity utilisation rate slightly lower

At the beginning of Q4 2018, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 84.1 percent. This is slighty lower than in the previous quarter, when the highest level of the capacity utilisation rate in 17 years was reached.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter
   Capacity utilisation rate
2015Quarter 180.4
Quarter 281.8
Quarter 382.3
Quarter 482.3
2016Quarter 181.2
Quarter 281.5
Quarter 381.7
Quarter 482.2
2017Quarter 181.3
Quarter 282.8
Quarter 383.4
Quarter 483.3
2018Quarter 183.5
Quarter 283.6
Quarter 384.5
Quarter 484.1

Manufacturing output over 3 percent up in August

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 3.1 percent up in August compared to the same month last year, a higher increase compared to July.For three years now, manufacturing output has continually been above the level of the same period year-on-year. The strongest growth in August 2018 was seen in the transport equipment industry.

German manufacturers again less positive

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In October, confidence of German manufacturers (i.e. the IFO index) decreased significantly due to markedly less optimistic business expectations. Growing global uncertainty is increasingly taking its toll on the German economy. The average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was almost 1 percent lower in August 2018 than one year previously.

Related items