Economic Tendency Survey April 2017
Manufacturers extraordinarily upbeat
The Economic Tendency Indicator climbed from 108.8 in March to 112.8 in April, a level that points to much stronger economic growth than normal. The increase was due mainly to the manufacturing indicator, which jumped 11.3 points to its highest since 1996. Above all, manufacturers are unusually happy with their order books.
The consumer confidence indicator also rose somewhat in April, due to consumers being more positive about the current state of both their personal finances and the economy as a whole.
Firms report a rise in employee numbers in recent months, but labour shortages have nevertheless increased. A relatively high proportion state that they have raised their prices, and they remain positive about current profitability.
Manufacturers report both increased production capacity and increased production volumes. At the same time, their overall assessment of current production capacity is at its weakest for more than 16 years. Firms plan to increase capacity, however, and production plans have risen to much higher levels than normal.
The indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 3.1 points due to a slight downward revision of recruitment plans for the next three months, but still points to a very strong situation.
The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell 3.8 points to just below the historical average, due to weaker sales expectations and slightly greater dissatisfaction with current stock levels.
The indicator for the service sector fell 2.3 points in April but is still above the historical average. The main reason for the decrease was slightly weaker expectations for demand over the next three months.
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