Dutch manufacturers pessimistic about future

Dutch manufacturers pessimistic about future

The mood among Dutch manufacturers hardly changed in January, according to Statistics Netherlands. The producer confidence indicator stood at – 1.4 versus – 1.3 in December 2011, but there were some underlying changes.

Producer confidence consists of three component indicators: manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products, the expected output over the next three months and opinions on their order positions.

Manufacturers’ opinions on their stocks of finished products deteriorated. Manufacturers were also a bit more pessimistic about their future output than in December. On the other hand, they were less pessimistic about their order positions.

The number of manufacturers indicating that the value of the orders they received has grown in the last three months was lower than the number who reported a decline. With 102.1, the order position index (orders expressed in months of work) was marginally higher than in December (101.5).

Just as in the preceding months, the number of manufacturers expecting employment in their branch to decline over the next three months was higher than the number anticipating employment growth. Manufacturers expected to increase their selling prices.

With 79.0 percent, the capacity utilisation rate in January was slightly below the level of October (80.1 percent). Just as in October, one quarter of manufacturers considered insufficient demand as an obstacle for production. The number of manufacturers considering their production capacity as too large equalled the number considering their production capacity as too small. Dutch manufacturers indicated that their competitive position did not change over the past three months.

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