Netherlands: Manufacturing operating conditions return to growth in August
Operating conditions in the manufacturing sector improved for the first time since the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, with the NEVI manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rising to 52.3 in August from 47.9 in July. As such, the headline reading moved above the neutral 50-threshold mark that separates an overall increase from decrease compared to the prior month.
The uptick reflected a sharp rise in new orders and increasing output as a consequence. Moreover, foreign demand rose to a near two-year high as restrictive measures have on average been eased globally. Furthermore, firms increased their purchasing activity for the first time in since February. That said, staff levels were once again reduced, albeit at a softer rate.
David Kemps, manufacturing sector specialist at ABN AMRO, commented: “The relaxation of lockdown measures in various European countries and the upward trend in the German manufacturing sector in particular has resulted in a cautious optimism of purchasing managers regarding the outlook for the next few months. […]. It is however too soon to start cheering as industrial output is still well below pre-corona levels. A large number of the manufacturers anticipate a negative long-term impact on their companies’ activities and turnover as a result of the corona crisis.”