Netherlands: Business confidence continues to decrease in August
August 30, 2017
The Central Bureau of Statistics’ (CBS) business confidence index showed that manufacturers’ business sentiment decreased for the second consecutive month. Business confidence fell from 6.6 points in July to 5.4 points in August, the lowest reading since December 2016. While this may be linked to prolonged political uncertainty at home, the indicator remains firmly above the zero-point mark separating optimism from pessimism. Dutch manufacturers’ sentiment has been optimistic since October 2014, and August’s print was comfortably above the long-term average of 0.7 points seen over the past two decades.
For the second consecutive month, the worsening in manufacturers’ business sentiment reflected less positive views on future output and order books in the next three months. Their view on the stock of finished goods also worsened. Despite less positive views, all subcomponents remained in positive territory, and all subsectors remained positive for the ninth consecutive month—manufacturers of wooden and building materials were again the most optimistic.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist