Manufacturing new orders in the Netherlands rise at slowest rate for a year
The headline PMI eased further from February’s record high, but remained among the highest levels ever recorded since the survey began in March 2000.
Growth rates for new orders, output and employment all eased further, but remained strong.
Backlogs rose at a faster rate and suppliers’ delivery times continued to lengthen substantially, highlighting pressure on capacity.
Inflationary pressures remained sharp, but eased further since the start of 2018.
The NEVI Netherlands Manufacturing PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance.
It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.
Any figure greater than 50.0 indicates overall improvement of the sector.
The PMI fell to a six-month low of 60.7 in April, from 61.5 in March.
The latest figure nevertheless signalled that Dutch manufacturers continued to experience rapidly improving business conditions at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and was the joint-sixth highest since the series started in March 2000.
Business conditions have improved continuously since July 2013.
New orders rose further in April, extending the current sequence of growth to 26 months.
The pace of expansion was strong overall, but eased further to the weakest for a year.
Moreover, inflows of new export orders increased at the slowest rate for a year-and-a-half.
Dutch manufacturing output continued to expand sharply in April.
Production has risen continuously for five years, a survey-record sequence.
That said, the rate of expansion slowed to a nine-month low.
The rate of manufacturing employment growth eased further from the record pace shown in the first two months of 2018, but was nonetheless stronger than in any period over the survey history prior to December 2017.
Pressure on manufacturing capacity remained intense in April, despite the slower intake of new work.
Backlogs of work increased at a faster rate and for the ninth successive month – the longest sequence in 11 years.
Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery times lengthened to the second-greatest extent to date.
Inflationary pressures remained strong in April.
Input price inflation slowed to a seven-month low, but remained among the strongest registered over the past seven years.
Similarly, output prices rose at the fourth-fastest rate since June 2011.
Output expectations among Dutch manufacturers remained strongly positive in April, but eased to an eight-month low. ■