2014-03-26

Economic Tendency Survey March 2014

Economic Tendency Indicator heading down towards normal levels

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell 2.5 points from 104.0 in February to 101.5 in March. Together with the decrease of 3.1 points in February, it has now fallen 5.6 points in two months. All of the indicators declined. The indicators for manufacturing and for building and civil engineering fell furthest, by 3.2 and 3.6 points respectively, and are now close to their historical averages. The consumer indicator edged down a tenth of a point and is also close to the historical average, while the retail and private services indicators are still well above their historical averages.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 3.2 points in March after dropping 4.2 points in February, and is now close to the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was less positive and the assessment of current order books was more negative, while production plans were more optimistic.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 3.6 points in March and is now back close to the historical average. Both questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: the assessment of current order books deteriorated and employment plans were revised down.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade dropped 1.2 points in March but is still well above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: the assessment of stocks of goods was much less positive, while historical sales were more positive, and expectations for sales in the coming months were more optimistic.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 1.9 points in March, almost as far as in February, and is now 4 points above the historical average. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: historical demand was lower, expectations for demand in the coming months were somewhat less optimistic, and firms´ assessment of how their operations have developed was less positive.

The consumer confidence indicator edged down a tenth of a point from 99.7 in February to 99.6 in March and is now just below the historical average. Three of the five questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: the largest negative changes were in the assessment of the Swedish economy both at present and over the next 12 months, while consumers´ view of the current state of their personal finances was also more negative.

Indicators

Bransch

Max-value

Min-value

Jan 2014

Feb 2014

Mar 2014

Change

Situation

Economic Tendency Indicator

117,9

69,2

107,1

104,0

101,5

-2,5

+

Confidence Indicators:

       

Total Industry

120,1

69,3

109,1

106,6

103,9

-2,7

+

Manufacturing

119,0

65,8

107,2

103,0

99,8

-3,2

=

Building and civil engineering

122,6

80,4

100,2

103,5

99,9

-3,6

=

Retail Trade

125,2

67,9

107,8

106,7

105,5

-1,2

+

Private Service Sector

118,7

72,6

108,2

105,9

104,0

-1,9

+

Consumer

120,0

48,9

102,6

99,7

99,6

-0,1

=

Macro index (consumers)

120,8

72,1

105,4

104,0

101,2

-2,8

+

Micro index (consumers)

118,2

44,6

98,9

96,0

98,0

2,0

-

Expected inflation (12 months ahead)

  

1,1

1,0

0,9

-0,1

 

Interest rate expectation:

       

1 year ahead

  

2,83

2,88

2,89

0,01

 

2 years ahead

  

3,33

3,33

3,39

0,06

 

5 years ahead

  

3,89

3,86

4,04

0,18

 

The situation is: ++ very strong, + strong, = normal, - weak, -- very weak.

The confidence indicator for the total industry is obtained by weighting the confidence indicators for building and civil engineering, manufacturing, the retail trade and the private service sector on the basis of the number of employees in the population. These weights are different to those used in the calculation of the Economic Tendency Indicator.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector has been estimated for January 1996 to November 2001 on the basis of quarterly series for a limited number of service industries.

Note. The standardisation of the Economic Tendency Indicator means that it cannot be calculated as a weighted mean of the levels of the sector confidence indicators.

The situation is: ++ very strong, + strong, = normal, - weak, -- very weak.

The confidence indicator for the total industry is obtained by weighting the confidence indicators for building and civil engineering, manufacturing, the retail trade and the private service sector on the basis of the number of employees in the population. These weights are different to those used in the calculation of the Economic Tendency Indicator.

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