Producer confidence slightly lower in February

In February 2021, the mood among Dutch manufacturers has deteriorated slightly. Producer confidence stands at 0.1, down from 0.6 in January, as reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Manufacturers are less positive about their future output and their stocks of finished products.

The long-term average over the past two decades is 0.2. Producer confidence reached an all-time high (10.9) in February 2018 and an all-time low (-28.7) in April 2020. 

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)
yearmonthbalance (average of the component questions)
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
2020October-5.6
2020November-3.8
2020December-0.4
2021January0.6
2021February0.1

Manufacturers less positive about future output

In February, manufacturers are less optimistic about their future output than they were in January. Their opinions on stocks of finished products are also somewhat less positive. Opinions on their order positions, on the other hand, are slightly less negative than in the previous month.

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

The expected output indicator is exactly zero in February. This means that the number of manufacturers who anticipate output to increase over the next three months equals the number expecting output to decrease.

The other component indicator is negative. More manufacturers consider their order position to be weak rather than strong, given the time of year.

Confidence highest in transport equipment industry

In February, producer confidence is the highest in the transport equipment industry. Confidence among entrepreneurs in this branch has increased considerably, while confidence has declined in most other branches. The most negative opinions are found in the textiles, clothes and leather industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 Febuary 2021 (average of the component questions)January 2021 (average of the component questions)
Transport equipment7.12.5
Timber and building materials4.99.1
Electrotechnical products and machinery4.15.8
Petroleum3.83.4
Metal22.7
Food, beverages, tobacco-3.4-5
Paper and printing-6.5-2.1
Textiles, clothes, leather-6.71.7

Manufacturing output 0.2 percent down in December

In December 2020, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was 0.2 percent down on December 2019. This is the smallest contraction after January 2020, when output was 1.4 percent higher than one year previously.

German manufacturers more positive in February

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. German producer confidence is up in February according to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute. This is due to both more optimistic future output expectations and more optimistic opinions on the current situation. In December, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry contracted by almost 2 percent year-on-year, as reported by Destatis.