Economic Tendency Survey August 2015
Consumers more confident in the economy in August
The Economic Tendency Indicator, which summarises how firms and consumers view the economy, climbed for a second month from 103.2 in July to 104.6 in August. All four subdivisions of the business sector contributed to the increase, and consumer sentiment also improved. The business sector indicators all point to a stronger situation than normal, while the consumer indicator is in line with the historical average.
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry edged up from 104.2 in July to 104.8 in August, exceeding the historical average for a fourth successive month. The increase was due to firms being more positive about their order books, while their assessment of stocks of finished goods and production plans over the next three months were largely unchanged.
The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry also edged up, from 105.4 in July to 105.9 in August, and again this was due to firms being more satisfied with the size of their order books. Expectations for employment over the next three months, which are the other question included, were slightly more subdued than in July, but firms remain significantly more optimistic than normal in their employment plans.
The confidence indicator for the retail trade climbed 3.5 points in August to 111.1, which points to a much stronger situation than normal. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the rise: sales were reported to have grown more quickly than in July, expectations for sales over the next three months were even more optimistic, and firms´ assessment of stocks of goods improved somewhat and remains less negative than normal.
The confidence indicator for the private service sector climbed from 103.6 in July to 104.8 in August. Firms´ positive view of how their operations have developed in recent months was unchanged, while historical demand was reported as having grown more strongly than in July. Expectations for demand over the next three months were marginally less positive but remain more optimistic than normal.
The consumer confidence indicator climbed from 97.3 in July to 100.1 in August, which is in line with the historical average. All of the questions included in the indicator contributed to the rise. Consumers´ view of their personal finances at present was a little more positive than in July, and expectations for their personal finances over the next 12 months were slightly more positive. Consumers´ assessment of the Swedish economy remains more negative than normal, but their view of both the current situation and the outlook for the next 12 months improved somewhat. Consumers were also more positive about whether now is a good time to make major purchases.
Economic Tendency Indicator
Building and civil engineering
Private service sectors
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
Revised method for calculating consumers´ inflation expectations.
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean excluding extreme values (percent)
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean all answers (percent)
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, median (percent)
Interest rate expectation, mean excluding extreme values (percent):
1 year ahead
2 years ahead
5 years ahead