Producer confidence hardly changed

According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has hardly changed in March 2019. Confidence stands at 6.1 in March, down from 6.3 in February. Manufacturers are less positive about future output and their stocks of finished products. On the other hand, opinions on order positions have improved.

The long-term average over the past two decades is 1.0. 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)
jaarmaandbalance
2015April3.3
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
November7.2
December7.5
2019January5.8
February6.3
March6.1

Less positive about future output and stocks

In March, Dutch manufacturers are less positive about their future output and their stocks of finished products than in the previous month. On the other hand, they are more optimistic about their order positions.

All 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. Furthermore, there are more manufacturers who define their current stocks of finished products as too small rather than too large.

Producers in the clothes, textiles and leather industry most positive

In March, producers in the textiles, clothes and leather industry are the most positive. Producer confidence in the transport equipment industry has dropped to the lowest level since mid-2013.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted) (average of the component questions)
 March 2019February 2019
Textiles, clothes, leather16.95.2
Wood and construction11.617.1
Metal11.14.9
Electrotechnical products and machinery10.69
Paper and printing7.86.3
Food, beverages, tobacco6.28.1
Petroleum2.11.3
Transport equipment-7.60.9

Manufacturing output hardly changed in January

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.1 percent up in January on the same month last year. In December, manufacturing output was still down year-on-year.

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 once again this month, to the lowest level since March 2016. This was due to both more pessimistic business expectations and less optimistic opinions on the current situation. In January, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was nearly 4 percent lower than in the same month last year. 

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