2015-02-20

Economic Tendency Survey February 2015

Expansive recruitment plans in the construction sector

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell 0.8 points in February and is now not quite 5 points above the historical average. The sector indicators also changed only slightly: the manufacturing and services indicators fell a little, while the construction and retail indicators edged up. All of the sector indicators are well above the historical average. The consumer indicator, however, continued to decline, falling another point in February, and is somewhat below the historical average.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 0.6 points in February and is now not quite 7 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: the assessment of current order books was less positive, while production plans were revised up a shade, and the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was slightly more positive.The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry gained 0.4 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. One of the two questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the sector´s already expansive employment plans were revised up further, while the assessment of current order books was more negative.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 0.5 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: historical sales were better than in January, while the assessment of stocks of goods was less positive, and expected sales growth was revised down marginally. Looking at the main subsectors, the indicators for the food trade and the motor trade fell, while the indicator for the specialist retail trade rose slightly.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 0.8 points in February and is now 4 points above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: historical demand was slightly weaker than in January, and expectations for demand in the coming months were not as optimistic, while firms´ assessment of how their operations have developed was somewhat more positive.

The consumer confidence indicator fell a further point in February to 97.4. Four of the five questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: consumers´ view of both their personal finances and the Swedish economy in 12 months was more pessimistic, and their assessment of both the current state of the economy and whether now is a good time to make major purchases was more negative than in January; only their view of their personal finances at present was more positive. Consumers´ assessment of the current situation is still more positive than normal, while expectations 12 months ahead are considerably more pessimistic than normal.


The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 0.6 points in February and is now not quite 7 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: the assessment of current order books was less positive, while production plans were revised up a shade, and the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was slightly more positive.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry gained 0.4 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. One of the two questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the sector´s already expansive employment plans were revised up further, while the assessment of current order books was more negative.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 0.5 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: historical sales were better than in January, while the assessment of stocks of goods was less positive, and expected sales growth was revised down marginally. Looking at the main subsectors, the indicators for the food trade and the motor trade fell, while the indicator for the specialist retail trade rose slightly.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 0.8 points in February and is now 4 points above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: historical demand was slightly weaker than in January, and expectations for demand in the coming months were not as optimistic, while firms´ assessment of how their operations have developed was somewhat more positive.

The consumer confidence indicator fell a further point in February to 97.4. Four of the five questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: consumers´ view of both their personal finances and the Swedish economy in 12 months was more pessimistic, and their assessment of both the current state of the economy and whether now is a good time to make major purchases was more negative than in January; only their view of their personal finances at present was more positive. Consumers´ assessment of the current situation is still more positive than normal, while expectations 12 months ahead are considerably more pessimistic than normal.

Indicators

Industry

Max-value

Min-value

Dec 2014

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

Change

Situation

Economic Tendency Indicator

118,0

68,4

105,9

105,6

104,8

-0,8

+

Confidence Indicators

       

Total Industry

120,2

68,6

107,8

107,6

107,1

-0,5

+

Manufacturing

119,2

65,0

106,4

107,4

106,8

-0,6

+

Building and civil engineering

122,7

79,8

108,1

108,1

108,5

0,4

+

Retail Trade

124,9

67,3

107,6

108,0

108,5

0,5

+

Private Service Sector

119,6

71,9

106,5

104,8

104,0

-0,8

+

Consumer

120,5

47,8

99,5

98,4

97,4

-1,0

-

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.

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.

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.

Household expectations on inflation and interest rate

Inflation expectation (12 months ahead)

Dec 2014

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

Change

Mean value without extremes

0,0

0,0

0,7

0,7

Mean value all answers

0,7

0,9

1,1

0,2

Median

0,0

0,0

0,0

0,0

Interest rate expectation

Dec 2014

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

Change

1 year ahead

2,34

2,31

2,31

0,00

2 years ahead

2,79

2,84

2,89

0,05

5 years ahead

3,42

3,46

3,62

0,16

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