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Economy in Brief

  Dutch Consumer Confidence Falls Slightly While Producer Confidence Rises Slightly:  Both Are Well Above the Lows of 2003
by Louise Curley September 28, 2004

Consumer confidence among Dutch consumers fell to -22 in September from -19 in August. Consumers became less willing to purchase goods as the balance of those willing to purchase goods went to -20 from -17 in August. At the same time, consumers viewed the current climate somewhat less favorably with the balance dropping from -22 in August to -24 in September. In spite of these declines, the general trend of consumer confidence has been upward since March of 2003 and the three indicators of confidence are all well above year ago levels.

Confidence among producers in the Netherlands increased from 0.5 in August to 0.7 in September. Expectations of improved production trends outweighed appraisals of the current production and new order trends.

As shown in the attached chart, producer confidence has been in positive territory since May of this year--the first time this has occurred since March of 2001 except of a brief spike in September, 2002. Thus, the optimists among producers are beginning to outweigh the pessimists. In the case of consumers, however, the pessimist still outweigh the optimists by a wide margin.

      Per Cent Balance Sep 04 Aug  04 Sep  03 M/M
pts
Y/Y
pts
2003 %  2002 %   2001 %
Consumer confidence -22 -19 -34 -3 12 -25 -20 -1
Economic climate -24 -22 -51 -2 26 -56 -39 -25
Willingness to buy -20 -17 -24 -3 4 -22 -8 15
               
Producer confidence  0.7 0.5 -4.9 0.2 5.6 -5.6 -1.6 -1.1
 Production trend -9 2 -9 -11 0 1 2 -1
 Expected production trend 12 2 13 10 -1 1 6 4
 New order trend -4 0 -7 -4 3 -2 1 -3
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