Dutch manufacturers less positive

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has declined in January 2019. Confidence stands at 5.8 in January, down from 7.5 in December. Producers are mainly less positive about their future output.

The long-term average over the past two decades is 0.9. Producer confidence reached an all-time high (10.9) in February 2018 and an all-time low (-23.5) in February 2009. Optimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers since October 2014.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
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
2018 October5.9
2018 November7.2
2018 December7.5
2019 January5.8

Less positive about future output

In January, Dutch manufacturers are less positive about their future output than last month. Manufacturers’ opinions about stocks of finished products have deteriorated.
However, manufacturers’ opinions about their order books have improved.

Two of three component indicators of producer confidence are positive. Manufacturers who anticipate output growth over the next three months outnumber those expecting output decline. More manufacturers consider their order position to be strong rather than weak, given the time of year.

On the other hand a majority of manufacturers define their current stocks of finished products as too large rather than too small.

Producers in the wood and building materials industry again most positive

In January, producers in the wood and building materials industry are the most positive for the eleventh consecutive month. Confidence of producers in the metal products industry deteriorated the most.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 January 2019December 2018
Wood and construction21.620.2
Textiles, clothes, leather118.4
Electrotechnical products and machinery10.310.8
Food, beverages, tobacco7.45.8
Paper and printing5.62.4
Transport equipment4.33.2

Industrial capacity utilisation rate slightly lower

At the beginning of Q1 2019, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 83.9 percent. This is slighty lower than in the previous quarter.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter (%)
 Capacity utilisation rate
2015 Quarter 281.8
2015 Quarter 382.3
2015 Quarter 482.3
2016 Quarter 181.2
2016 Quarter 281.5
2016 Quarter 381.7
2016 Quarter 482.2
2017 Quarter 181.3
2017 Quarter 282.8
2017 Quarter 383.4
2017 Quarter 483.3
2018 Quarter 183.5
2018 Quarter 283.6
2018 Quarter 384.5
2018 Quarter 484.1
2019 Quarter 183.9

Manufacturing output over 2 percent up in November

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 2.1 percent up in November on the same month last year. The growth rate was lower than in October. The metal products industry realised the strongest production growth.

German manufacturers again less positive

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. According to the IFO index, in manufacturing the business climate index fell markedly once again this month, to the lowest level since September 2016. This was primarily due to far more pessimistic business expectations. In November, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was almost 5 percent lower than in the same month one year previously.

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