Producer confidence hardly changed in March

© ANP
In March 2022, the mood among Dutch manufacturers has hardly changed. Producer confidence has improved from 8.5 in February to 8.7 in March, as reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). However, manufacturers are less positive about their future output. In producer confidence for March, the war in Ukraine plays a role for the first time.

The long-term average over the past two decades stands at 0.9. 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)
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
2022February8.5
2022March8.7

Manufacturers less positive about future output and order positions

In March, manufacturers are less positive about their future output and their order positions. On the other hand, opinions on their stocks of finished product were more positive compared to the previous month.

All three component indicators of producer confidence 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. There are fewer manufacturers who define their current stocks of finished products as too large rather than too small.

Confidence highest in timber and building materials industry

As of March, confidence has declined in over half of all manufacturing industries. Confidence is highest in the timber and building materials industry, but has also decreased most sharply in this industry.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 March 2022 (average of the component questions)February 2022 (average of the component questions)
Timber and building materials19.122.4
Electrotechnical products and machinery1715.3
Transport equipment14.711.4
Textiles, clothes, leather112.9
Paper and printing8.811.1
Food, beverages, tobacco7.36.9
Petroleum5.76
Metal2.33.8

Opinions on future economic climate deteriorating

In March, industrial entrepreneurs are negative about the economic climate in the next three months. This is for the first time since the beginning of 2021.

Economic climate next three months
yearmonthbalance (balance of % positive and % negative answers)
2018april10.3
2018mei7.9
2018juni7.7
2018juli7.6
2018augustus5.2
2018september7.7
2018oktober7.4
2018november3.3
2018december4.1
2019januari4
2019februari2.1
2019maart5
2019april4
2019mei2.6
2019juni0.9
2019juli0.5
2019augustus1.8
2019september-1
2019oktober-4
2019november-4.4
2019december-1.8
2020januari-0.5
2020februari2.7
2020maart-11.9
2020april-65.6
2020mei-45.9
2020juni-18.8
2020juli-8.1
2020augustus-1.5
2020september-1.4
2020oktober-10.9
2020november-16.3
2020december-3.2
2021januari0.7
2021februari2
2021maart9
2021april11.8
2021mei13.2
2021juni16.6
2021juli11.8
2021augustus10
2021september13.4
2021oktober11.6
2021november7.1
2021december2.6
2022januari4.2
2022februari5.2
2022maart-10.8

Manufacturing output almost 8 percent up in January

In January 2022, the average daily output generated by the Dutch manufacturing industry was up by 7.9 percent on January 2021. Output grew by 13.3 percent in the previous month.

Sharpest decline in producer confidence in Germany ever

Germany is an important foreign market for the Dutch manufacturing industry. In March, German producer confidence according to the Business Climate Index of the IFO Institute fell more sharply than ever before. Companies’ expectations also saw a record drop, flipping from optimism to pronounced pessimism. Assessments of the current situation were also lower. In January, the average daily output generated by the German manufacturing industry rose by 0.2 percent year on year, as reported by Destatis.