Dutch manufacturing sector sees further strong growth
Staff Writer | May 2, 2017
The health of the Dutch manufacturing sector showed strong improvement in April.
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Output and new order growth eased marginally but remained sharp.
There was also a steep rise in employment as Dutch manufacturers registered high levels of confidence.
Meanwhile, the rate of input price inflation was the slowest in 2017 so far, leading to a weaker rise in factory gate prices.
The seasonally adjusted headline NEVI Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 57.8 in April, matching the score recorded in March.
The reading was markedly above the historical average and extended the current sequence of improving business conditions to almost four years.
April survey data marked four years of continual production growth in the Netherlands manufacturing sector.
The rate of growth eased fractionally from the previous month but remained strong when compared with the long-run average.
Companies attributed expansion to greater demand for Dutchproduced goods.
Output expansion was broadbased across the three monitored sub-sectors and highest in the intermediate goods category.
New work placed at Dutch manufacturing companies increased sharply in April.
That said, the rate of growth was the slowest for three months.
Export order growth was meanwhile little-changed from the strong pace seen in March.
Anecdotal evidence suggested that demand for Dutchproduced goods increased in Europe and Asia.
Meanwhile, Dutch manufacturing firms took on additional new workers in order to improve operational capacity in line with increased demand.
In April, the rate of job creation was sharp overall and close to February’s six-year high.
On the price front, the five-month trend of accelerating output charge inflation ended in April, as the rate of increase eased.
That said, price hikes were still notable overall as companies continued to pass on rising cost burdens.
Input price inflation remained sharp.
However, the rate of inflation eased to a four-month low.
Panellists reported that high demand for raw materials contributed to the rise in prices.
Furthermore, strong demand for raw materials led to another deterioration of supplier delivery times, in April.
Lead times lengthened to the greatest extent for six years. ■ What to read next
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