Producer confidence improves

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has improved in April 2019. Confidence stands at 6.7 in April, up from 6.1 in March. Manufacturers are more positive about future output and their stocks of finished products.

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)
jaarmaandbalance (average of the component questions)
2015May4.1
2015June4.6
2015July3.7
2015August3.5
2015September3.8
2015October2.4
2015November4
2015December3
2016January3.2
2016February3.1
2016March3.9
2016April4.7
2016May4.4
2016June5.4
2016July5.1
2016August1.2
2016September3.4
2016October4.3
2016November3.4
2016December4.7
2017January6
2017February7
2017March7.8
2017April8.3
2017May6.1
2017June7.2
2017July6.6
2017August5.4
2017September8.5
2017October8.2
2017November9.1
2017December8.9
2018January10.3
2018February10.9
2018March9.5
2018April8.2
2018May9.8
2018June7.7
2018July6.3
2018August5.9
2018September5.7
2018October5.9
2018November7.2
2018December7.5
2019January5.8
2019February6.3
2019March6.1
2019April6.7

More positive about future output and stocks

In April, Dutch manufacturers are more positive about their future output and their stocks of finished products than in the previous month. On the other hand, they are less 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 textile, clothing and leather industry most positive

In April, producers in the textile, clothing and leather industry are the most positive. However, pessimists again predominated in the transport equipment industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 April 2019 (average of the component questions)March 2019 (average of the component questions)
Textiles, clothes, leather16.416.9
Electrotechnical products and machinery11.410.6
Wood and construction10.711.6
Metal9.111.1
Petroleum5.52.1
Paper and printing5.37.8
Food, beverages, tobacco4.06.2
Transport equipment-3.9-7.6

Industrial capacity utilisation rate higher

At the beginning of Q2 2019, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 84.3 percent. This is higher than in the previous quarter.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter
   Capacity utilisation rate (%)
2015Quarter 382.3
2015Quarter 482.3
2016Quarter 181.2
2016Quarter 281.5
2016Quarter 381.7
2016Quarter 482.2
2017Quarter 181.3
2017Quarter 282.8
2017Quarter 383.4
2017Quarter 483.3
2018Quarter 183.5
2018Quarter 283.6
2018Quarter 384.5
2018Quarter 484.1
2019Quarter 183.9
2019Quarter 284.3

Manufacturing output 0.5 percent up

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.5 percent up in February 2019 relative to the same month last year. The previous two months saw a decline in output. In February, output in the transport equipment industry showed the strongest year-on-year 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 once again this month, to the lowest level in more than six years. This was due to both more pessimistic business expectations and less optimistic opinions on the current situation. In February, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was nearly 2 percent lower than in the same month last year.

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