Dutch manufacturers less positive

© Hollandse Hoogte / Westend61 GmbH
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), producer confidence among Dutch manufacturers has deteriorated in January 2020. Confidence stands at 2.5 in January, down from 2.9 in December. In January, manufacturers are mainly less positive about their order position.

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)
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
2019May4.7
2019Juni3.3
2019Juli 3.9
2019August3.9
2019September3.3
2019October3.6
2019November2.8
2019December2.9
2020January2.5

More positive about output, less positive about orders

In January, Dutch manufacturers are more positive about their future output. However, they are less positive about their order position. Their opinion on stocks of finished products has hardly changed.

Two 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.

However, manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks are negative. There are more manufacturers who define their current stocks of finished products as too large rather than too small.

Producers in paper and printing industry most positive

In January, producers in the paper and printing industry have the most optimistic outlook. However, producers in the timber and building materials industry are considerably less positive than in the previous month. Producer confidence in the transport equipment industry has also deteriorated substantially.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 January 2020 (average of the component questions)December 2019 (average of the component questions)
Paper and printing9.98
Food, beverages, tobacco8.55.4
Textiles, clothes, leather7.37.5
Metal3.82
Timber and building materials2.114.2
Petroleum1.20.6
Electrotechnical products and machinery0.31.2
Transport equipment-11.1-3

Industrial capacity utilisation declining

At the beginning of Q1 2020, the industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 82.7 percent, the lowest level in three years.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter
   Capacity utilisation rate (%)
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
2019Quarter 384.3
2019Quarter 484
2020Quarter 182.7

Manufacturing output over 1 percent down in November

The average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 1.3 percent down in November 2019 compared to the same month one year previously. The year-on-year decline follows two months of modest output growth.

Confidence among German manufacturers again less negative

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. According to the IFO institute, manufacturing is showing signs of recovery. In January, German manufacturers are again less negative compared to the previous month. Capacity utilisation rose from 82.6 percent to 83.1 percent. In November, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry was 4 percent lower than in the same month one year previously. This is reported by Destatis.

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