2014-10-29

Economic Tendency Survey October 2014

Industry looking up, consumers more downbeat

The Economic Tendency Indicator rose 2.8 points from 101.5 in September to 104.3 in October, its highest level for nine months. All of the business confidence indicators improved — manufacturing by 4.4 points, private services by 3.4 points, building and civil engineering by 1.5 points and retail by 0.2 points — and all are above the historical average. The consumer confidence indicator, on the other hand, fell 4.7 points in October to 2 points below the historical average.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry gained 4.4 points in October and is now 7.7 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was significantly more positive, while both the assessment of current order books and production plans were unchanged.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry rose 1.5 points in October and is now almost 7 points above the historical average. The assessment of current order books was more positive, while employment plans were unchanged.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 0.2 points in October and is now almost 8 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the assessment of stocks of goods was more positive, while both historical sales and expectations for sales in the coming months were revised down.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector rose 3.4 points in October and is now back above the historical average. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: historical demand was stronger, firms' assessment of how their operations have developed was more positive, and expectations of demand in the coming months were higher.

The consumer confidence indicator fell no fewer than 4.7 points in October and is now 2 points below the historical average. Four of the five questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: above all, expectations of personal finances and the Swedish economy over the next 12 months were significantly more pessimistic, but consumers were also less positive about the present state of the economy and whether now is a good time to make major purchases. Only the assessment of the present state of their personal finances was more positive.

Indicators

Industry

Max-value

Min-value

Aug 2014

Sep 2014

Oct 2014

Change

Situation

Economic Tendency Indicator

118,1

68,7

103,3

101,5

104,3

2,8

+

Confidence Indicators

       

Total Industry

119,8

68,8

104,6

102,3

105,8

3,5

+

Manufacturing

119,2

65,3

107,0

103,3

107,7

4,4

+

Building and civil engineering

122,8

80,0

103,8

105,3

106,8

1,5

+

Retail Trade

124,9

67,6

106,7

107,7

107,9

0,2

+

Private Service Sector

119,1

72,2

101,1

98,2

101,6

3,4

+

Consumer

120,3

48,2

96,6

102,7

98,0

-4,7

-

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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