Confidence among manufacturers is improving again

These are the most recent figures on this topic. View the previous figures here.
© ANP / Remko de Waal
Dutch manufacturers were less negative in May than they were in April, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Producer confidence went up from -3.6 in April to -2.8 in May. Manufacturers were more positive about expected output, in particular.

Producer confidence in May was below the 20-year average of -1.3. It reached an all-time high (10.4) in October 2021 and an all-time low (-31.5) in April 2020.

Producer confidence manufacturing industry (seasonally adjusted)
yearmonthbalance (average of the component questions)
2020June-18.7
2020July-11.8
2020August-7.8
2020September-7
2020October-7.7
2020November-6.4
2020December-3.2
2021January-1.8
2021February-2.6
2021March0.6
2021April3.6
2021May5.6
2021June7.8
2021July9.2
2021August7.1
2021September9.1
2021October10.4
2021November10.1
2021December7.3
2022January6.5
2022February5.8
2022March5.7
2022April7.2
2022May5.8
2022June4.2
2022July5.3
2022August2.4
2022September1.2
2022October0.9
2022November1.1
2022December1
2023January1.1
2023February0.9
2023March0.9
2023April -0.3
2023May-1.7
2023June-2.7
2023July-2.7
2023August-4.6
2023September-3.9
2023Oktober-3.7
2023November-2.6
2023December-5.7
2024January-4.4
2024February-4.2
2024March-4.8
2024April-3.6
2024May-2.8

Improvement in confidence regarding expected output

Manufacturers were more positive about their expected output for the next three months. They were also less negative about their order positions. Opinions about their current stocks of finished products remained negative, however.

One component indicator was positive: manufacturers who anticipated an increase in output over the next three months outnumbered those expecting a decrease.

Two component indicators were negative. Manufacturers were more likely to indicate that their order position was weak rather than strong for the time of year, and more manufacturers described their current stock of finished products as large rather than small.

Producer confidence: component indicators (seasonally adjusted)
 May (balance % positive answers and % negative answers)April (balance % positive answers and % negative answers)
Producer confidence-2.8-3.6
Expected output7.25.3
Assessment of stocks of finished products-6-6
Assessment of order-book levels-9.7-10.2

Producer confidence most positive in the electrotechnical and machinery sector

Confidence improved in half of the main industrial sectors. The improvement was the greatest among producers of wood and building materials. Manufacturers in the electrotechnical and machinery industries were the most positive.

Producer confidence by sector (seasonally adjusted)
 May (average of the component questions)April (average of the component questions)
Electrotechnical products and machinery0.9-3.3
Paper and printing0.34.4
Metal-3.5-5.8
Food, beverages, tobacco-4-1
Petroleum and chemicals-4-3.3
Transport equipment-8.7-14.7
Timber and building materials-9.6-17
Textiles, clothes, leather-16.8-12.5

Manufacturing output down by 6 percent in March

In March 2024, the calendar-adjusted output of the Dutch manufacturing industry was 6.0 percent lower than it was in March 2023. Year-on-year output also contracted in the preceding eight months. After adjustments for seasonal and calendar effects, manufacturing output fell by 1.5 percent relative to February.