Netherlands: Business sentiment inches down in March
In March, business confidence inched down to 6.1 from 6.3 in March. As a result, the index remained firmly above the neutral zero-point mark separating optimism from pessimism; it also remained handsomely above the long-term average of 1.0 over the past 20 years. The index has been in optimistic territory since October 2014.
The small drop in the headline figure reflected less rosy views on business expectations and stocks of finished goods, while firms’ outlook on order books improved. All three components were still in optimistic territory. In terms of industries, producers in the textile, clothing and leather industry were the most optimistic in March, while manufacturers in the transport equipment industry turned very pessimistic.