Economic Tendency Survey July 2016
Companies report labour shortages
The Economic Tendency Indicator, which summarises households' and companies' views on the economy, fell from 103.0 in June to 102.2 in July. The Indicator continues to point to slightly stronger economic growth than usual. The manufacturing industry, retail and households contributed negatively to the downturn. The households' confidence indicator fell by as much as 3.3 units. The service sector's confidence indicator rose for the second consecutive month.
The companies' combined view of the prevailing demand situation remains at a historical high. All sectors included contribute to this positive view. There is reported to have been a relatively large increase in the number of employees over the past three months, though that increase is primarily attributable to retail and the private service industries.
The proportion of companies reporting labour shortages has increased further in July and is now significantly above the historical average. The last time a higher shortage was recorded was in January 2008. All corporate sectors report labour shortages. Companies' employment plans are more optimistic than usual in all parts of the economy with the exception of retail, where they are in line with the historical average.
The manufacturing industry reports satisfactory growth in orders and production over the past three months. However, expectations of progress over the next three months are slightly more pessimistic than usual.
Construction companies also report satisfactory growth in orders over the past three months and expectations regarding backlog of orders, construction and employment continue to be more optimistic than usual.
The proportion of retail companies reporting increased sales over the past three months continues at a historical high and companies are extremely satisfied with the current sales situation. An exception to this is specialist retail trade, whose view of the sales situation is just below the historical average.
Even the private service industries report increased demand over the past three months. Expectations of progress in demand have risen slightly compared to last month and are just above the historical average.
The companies' responses were collected during the period from 28 June to 18 July and the households' responses were collected from 1 July to 15 July.
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 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
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