Producer confidence, the mood indicator among industrial entrepreneurs, worsened slightly in November 2002. The economic survey conducted by Statistics Netherlands showed that there were fewer orders in the portfolio of the Dutch manufacturing industry The entrepreneurs also expect employment to be under pressure in the next few months. Furthermore they expect a slight reduction in production for the period December February.
Fewer orders in portfolio
In November, the confidence of industrial entrepreneurs fell by 1.3 point to - 1.9. The main cause is the expected reduction of production in the next three months. The index about the order position fell by 0,2 percentage points in November, reaching 92.5 (June 2000=100). This slight decrease is due to a drop in foreign orders.
More orders for consumer goods
The consumer goods industry received more orders in November according to the entrepreneurs. These were primarily foreign orders. Their order portfolio increased by 0.6 percentage points in November.
Producers of investment goods and semi-manufactured products saw a 0,6 percentage point drop in their order portfolios. Domestic orders fell sharply in the semi-manufactured goods sector, while it was the foreign orders that diminished in the investment goods sector.
Employment in the manufacturing industry under pressure
Employment in industry is expected to come under more pressure. On balance, 18 percent of the industrial entrepreneurs expect a reduction in the number of employees over the next three months. Last month the figure was 15 percent.
A quarter of the entrepreneurs in the semi-manufactured goods sector, on balance, expect a reduction in the number of employees over the period December 2002 through February 2003. In the investment goods sector this constitutes about a fifth of all entrepreneurs, on balance, and in the consumer goods sector about a tenth.