PMI climbs to 68-month record in the Netherlands in December
Staff Writer |
Dutch manufacturers saw the sharpest improvement in operating conditions since April 2011 during December, driven by further marked expansions in both output and new orders.
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Manufacturers continued to hire additional staff and increased their purchasing activity further.
Meanwhile, input costs and output charges both rose at sharper rates than in the preceding month. The seasonally adjusted headline NEVI Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 57.3 in December.
Up from 57.0 in November, the latest index reading was the highest in 68 months and pointed to a marked improvement in the overall health of the Dutch manufacturing sector.
Underpinning the latest improvement was a further rise in output. Moreover, the rate of increase accelerated fractionally from the previous month to a three-year high amid reports of more favourable demand conditions.
In line with the trend for output, new orders placed with manufacturing companies in the Netherlands continued to increase during December.
The rate of expansion was little-changed from the preceding month and marked overall. Furthermore, foreign demand for Dutch manufactured-goods rose at the strongest pace since July 2015.
December pointed to a second successive monthly fall in post-production inventories. Some panellists attributed the decline to a strong and sustained upturn in new work.
Encouraged by strong demand conditions, firms increased their staff numbers in December so as to enhance their operating capacity. Job creation has been recorded in each month since March 2015. In spite of this, backlogs of unfinished work accumulated for the second successive month.
Meanwhile, firms continued to increase their purchasing activity at a marked rate in December, which in turn led to a sharp rise in pre-production inventories, that was the steepest since data collection began in March 2000.
Dutch manufacturing companies continued to be faced with higher input costs in December amid reports of a depreciation of the euro against the US dollar putting upward pressure on import costs.
Moreover, the rate of increase was the most marked in over five-and-a-half years. To help alleviate pressure on their margins, firms generally raised their selling prices in December. Moreover, the rate of charge inflation was the sharpest in 58 months. ■