Producersâ€™ confidence, the sentiment indicator for the manufacturing industry, was â€“2.3 in May 2002. This is about the same as in April (-2.0). Production was slightly higher in May than in the previous month, according to Statistics Netherlands business sentiment survey. Manufacturers hardly expect production to rise in the period Juneâ€“August.
Disappointing order levels
The number of orders received in May hardly rose from April, and
manufacturersâ€™ opinions on the order book position remained negative. Opinions on stocks of finished product hardly changed either.
On balance six percent of manufacturers think their stocks are excessive. The disappointing number of orders was mainly felt in the sectors making consumer goods and investment goods. There was a slight rise in the number of orders received in the sector making semi-manufactured products.
The increase in domestic orders stagnated in all three sectors. For the second month in a row there were fewer order from abroad for consumer goods.
Export orders for investment goods and semi-manufactures rose slightly, although by less than in previous months.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)