2016-02-25

Economic Tendency Survey February 2016

Firms send strong employment signals

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell from 112.1 in January to 108.4 in February but still points to stronger growth than normal in the Swedish economy. The underlying data show that firms are relatively happy with current levels of demand and have big recruitment plans. Consumers, on the other hand, are in two minds: increasingly concerned about the Swedish economy, but more positive about their personal finances than for eight years.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell back again after the sharp rise in January but remains very high by historical standards. Firms are much more satisfied than normal with their order books and report optimistic production and employment plans for the next three months.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry was largely unchanged in February and points to a very strong situation for a sixth successive month. Firms’ expectations in terms of both order books and employment over the next three months are much more optimistic than normal.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell sharply in February, primarily a result of specialist retailers reporting weaker sales growth and greater dissatisfaction with stock levels. In general, retailers’ expectations in terms of both sales volumes and prices in the coming months are considerably more optimistic than normal.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector also fell slightly in February, due mainly to firms being more negative about how their operations have developed over the past three months. They have also become less and less positive about the state of demand over the past four months.

Indicators

 

Max

Min

Dec

2015

Jan

2016

Feb

2016

Change

Situation

Economic Tendency Indicator

117,7

67,6

109,9

112,1

108,4

-3,7

+

Confidence indicators:

       

Total industry

119,1

67,6

111,9

112,1

108,1

-4,0

+

Manufacturing

121,5

64,6

114,2

121,5

115,7

-5,8

++

Building and civil engineering

122,4

79,3

112,5

110,4

110,5

0,1

++

Retail Trade

124,1

67,0

115,9

114,4

107,3

-7,1

+

Private service sectors

119,2

70,8

106,1

104,3

102,4

-1,9

+

Consumer

121,1

46,8

98,8

97,6

98,0

0,4

-

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 indicators are revised each month when the time series are seasonally adjusted. The values will often then move slightly up or down.

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

 

Dec

2015

Jan

2016

Feb

2016

Change

Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean excluding extreme values (percent)

1,9

1,8

1,7

-0,1

Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean all answers (percent)

2,1

2,0

2,0

0,0

Expected inflation 12 months ahead, median (percent)

1,0

1,0

0,0

-1,0

Interest rate expectation, mean excluding extreme values

(percent):

    

1 year ahead

2,15

2,19

2,11

-0,08

2 years ahead

2,73

2,70

2,69

-0,01

5 years ahead

3,57

3,55

3,65

0,10



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