Manufacturers less positive

In January 2022, the mood among Dutch manufacturers is less optimistic. Producer confidence has deteriorated from 10.2 in December to 9.0 in January, as reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). However, producer confidence is still well above its long-term average this month.

The long-term average over the past two decades stands at 0.8. Producer confidence reached an all-time high (12.7) in November 2021 and an all-time low (-28.7) in April 2020.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)
yearmonthbalance (average of the component questions)
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
2021March3.4
2021April6.5
2021May8.8
2021June11.5
2021July12.3
2021August9.6
2021September11.1
2021October12.3
2021November12.7
2021December10.2
2022January9

Manufacturers mainly less positive about future output and order positions

In January, manufacturers are less positive mainly about their future output and their order positions. Opinions on stocks of finished products were slightly less negative.

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

Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products are neutral. There are just as many manufacturers who define their current stocks of finished products as too large as there are manufacturers defining them as too small.

Confidence highest in timber and building materials industry

As of January, confidence has declined in over half of all manufacturing industries. Confidence has decreased most sharply in the paper and printing industry. On the other hand confidence improved notably in the transport equipment sector. In January confidence is highest in the timber and building materials industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 January 2022 (average of the component questions)December 2021 (average of the component questions)
Timber and building materials2016.4
Transport equipment18.913.2
Electrotechnical products and machinery16.420.9
Paper and printing11.418.9
Textiles, clothes, leather10.28.5
Petroleum8.811.1
Metal8.49.1
Food, beverages, tobacco3.20.5

Capacity utilisation rate relatively stable

The industrial capacity utilisation rate stood at 83.6 percent at the start of Q1 2022. This is slightly lower than in the previous quarter, when the rate was 83.8 percent. The capacity utilisation rate is however still 3.6 percentage points higher than at the beginning of January 2021.

Capacity utilisation rate, first month of the quarter
   Capacity utilisation rate (%) (%)
2018Quarter 283.6
2018Quarter 384.5
2018Quarter 484.1
2019Quarter 183.9
2019Quarter 284.3
2019Quarter 384.3
2019Quarter 484
2020Quarter 182.7
2020Quarter 274.2
2020Quarter 376.9
2020Quarter 479.2
2021Quarter 180
2021Quarter 281.7
2021Quarter 384.1
2021Quarter 483.8
2022Quarter 183.6

Manufacturing output almost 11 percent up in November

In November 2021, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 10.6 percent relative to November 2020. Output was up by 9.9 percent year on year in the previous month.

Producer confidence has improved in Germany

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In January, German producer confidence according to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute has risen. There are more positive expectations on both current and future output. In Germany the industrial capacity utilisation rate increased from 84.9 percent to 85.6 percent. In November, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry fell by 2.4 percent year-on-year, as reported by Destatis. Relative to November 2019, it was lower by 5.9 percent.