2014-12-18

Economic Tendency Survey December 2014

Economic tendency indicator hits one-year high

The economic tendency indicator climbed 2.0 points from 103.8 in November to 105.8 in December. This level points to stronger economic growth than normal. The construction, retail and services indicators rose, while the manufacturing indicator fell. The biggest increase was in the services indicator, which leapt 5.2 points. All of the business indicators are above the historical average. The consumer indicator also improved in December to a level just below the historical average.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 1.3 points in December from 107.7 to 106.4 but is still well above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: firms' assessments of both current stocks of finished goods and current order books were less positive, but they were more optimistic about production volumes over the next three months.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry climbed 1.7 points from 106.4 to 108.1, its highest level since September 2011. Both questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the assessment of current order books was less negative, and the industry's already optimistic employment plans were slightly more expansive still.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 1.2 points in December and is now 7.5 points above the historical average. One of the three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: historical sales volumes grew somewhat more slowly than in the previous month, but expectations of sales volumes over the next three months were revised up further, and the assessment of stocks of goods was somewhat less negative.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector jumped 5.2 points in December from 101.1 to 106.3. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the rise: historical demand was stronger, firms' assessment of how their operations have developed improved further, and expectations of demand over the next three months were revised up.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 2.1 points from 96.9 in November to 99.0 in December, or just below the historical average. Three of the five questions included in the indicator made a positive contribution, most notably expectations of the Swedish economy over the next 12 months, which were significantly less pessimistic. Consumers´ assessments of both their personal finances at present and whether now is a good time to make major purchases were also somewhat more positive, but they were less positive about the current state of the Swedish economy, which made a negative contribution to the change in the indicator.

Indicators

Industry

Max-value

Min-value

Oct 2014

Nov 2014

Dec 2014

Change

Situation

Economic Tendency Indicator

118,1

68,5

104,0

103,8

105,8

2,0

+

Confidence Indicators

       

Total Industry

120,1

68,7

105,7

104,7

107,6

2,9

+

Manufacturing

119,2

65,1

107,1

107,7

106,4

-1,3

+

Building and civil engineering

122,8

79,9

106,7

106,4

108,1

1,7

+

Retail Trade

124,9

67,4

107,9

106,3

107,5

1,2

+

Private Service Sector

119,5

72,0

101,8

101,1

106,3

5,2

+

Consumer

120,4

48,0

97,8

96,9

99,0

2,1

=

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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