Producer confidence continues to rise in September

In September, confidence among Dutch manufacturers is less unfavourable for the fifth consecutive month. Producer confidence now stands at -4.8, up from -5.4 in August, as reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Manufacturers are mainly less negative about their order position.

The long-term average over the past two decades is 0.4. Producer confidence reached an all-time high (10.9) in February 2018 and reached an all-time low (-28.7) in April 2020. Pessimism has prevailed among Dutch manufacturers since April 2020.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)
yearmonthbalance (average of the component questions)
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
2020February3.7
2020March0.2
2020April-28.7
2020May-25.1
2020June-15.1
2020July-8.7
2020August-5.4
2020September-4.8

Opinions on order position and stocks improving

Manufacturers are less negative about their order position and more positive about their stocks of finished products. However, opinions on future output have deteriorated slightly. 

Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products are positive. There are fewer manufacturers who define their current stocks of finished products as too large rather than too small.

The other two component indicators are negative. Manufacturers who anticipate output to decrease over the next three months outnumber those expecting output to increase. More manufacturers consider their order position to be weak rather than strong, given the time of year.

Producers in timber and building materials industry most positive

Producers in the timber and building materials industry are the most positive. Producers in the petroleum and chemical industry are positive as well. However, the confidence indicator is negative in the other industries. The most negative opinions are again found among entrepreneurs in the metal industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 September 2020 (average of the component questions)August 2020 (average of the component questions)
Timber and building materials12.310.1
Petroleum3.3-2.9
Textiles, clothes, leather-1.95.2
Food, beverages, tobacco-3.10.9
Paper and printing-4.6-7.9
Transport equipment-5.3-6.1
Electrotechnical products and machinery-6.5-6.2
Metal-11.3-9.8

Manufacturing output almost 6 percent down in July

In July 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 5.8 percent down on July 2019. The year-on-year decrease is smaller than in the previous three months.

Confidence among German manufacturers also improving for fifth consecutive month

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. According to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute, in September producer confidence has improved for the fifth month in a row. Both opinions on future output and opinions on the current situation have improved. In July, the average daily output generated by the German industry contracted by almost 12 percent year-on-year, as reported by Destatis. The decrease is smaller than in the previous months.

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