Netherlands: PMI hits over two-year high in February
Manufacturing conditions in the Netherlands continued to improve in February, with the NEVI Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rising to 59.6 from January’s 58.8 and marking the best reading since September 2018. As such, the index moved further above the neutral 50-threshold that separates an overall increase from a decrease compared to the prior month.
February’s improvement came on the back of sustained growth in output and new orders, which both expanded sharply—albeit at a softer rate than in January—amid solid demand conditions. Regarding employment, firms raised staff levels at the fastest clip in a year due to intensifying capacity pressures. However, higher demand for inputs and continued restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus strained supply chains further and, as a result, lead times lengthened to the greatest extent on record. On the price front, input costs increased at the fastest rate since April 2011 due to higher raw material costs, while output charges rose at the second fastest pace in over two years as firms passed on costs to clients. Lastly, confidence regarding the outlook for output in the coming year remained high in February amid expectations that demand conditions will continue to improve.