Netherlands: Business confidence jumps in December
December 28, 2018
Business confidence in the manufacturing sector increased from 7.2 in November to 7.5 in December, reaching a six-month high at the close of the year. Subsequently, the index moved further north of the crucial zero-point mark that separates optimism from pessimism and the long-term average over the past 20 years of 0.9. The indicator has remained in positive territory since October 2014. The December result caps off an extraordinary year for manufacturing confidence as the sentiment index averaged 7.9 in 2018, which marks the highest reading since the survey began over 30 years ago.
The increase in sentiment in December mainly reflected a more upbeat outlook on future output, while views on order books and stocks of finished goods became less rosy. For the 10th month running, manufacturers in the wood and construction sector were the most optimist.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist