Activity in Dutch industry grew at the strongest rate in December since September 2018. In particular, the number of new orders increased significantly, but the Dutch Association of purchasing managers (Nevi). Employment also increased, albeit modest.
The growth of orders led to the second largest increase in production in two years. Companies were clearly buying more supplies. But the coronacrisis has also increased the disruptions in the supply chain. According to Nevi, there has been the largest ‘extension’ of delivery times since April.
The Nevi’s Purchasing Manager Index, which measures activity, was 58.2 as against 54.4 in November. If this measure exceeds 50, there is growth, below that of shrinkage. Both import and export orders had the largest growth since February 2018.
“Although the coronacrisis is by no means over, industry is showing a strong recovery,” says Albert Jan Swart, sector economist at ABN AMRO. “It seems that the demand for industrial products is increasing as the economic outlook has improved as a result of the advent of working vaccines. It is clear that entrepreneurs are counting on a strong economic recovery in 2021.”
Employment grew in December for the second month in a row. Many companies are working on expanding the workforce in order to cope with the increased current and future demand. However, there were major differences within sectors, including job losses in the consumer goods sector.