Economic Tendency Survey April 2018

Manufacturing and construction lift indicator in april

After falling for four months, the Economic Tendency Indicator climbed 1.6 points in April to 110.4, reflecting much stronger sentiment than normal among Swedish businesses and consumers.

The improvement was due mainly to even stronger signals from the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing indicator jumped 5.1 points in April, driven by an upward revision of production plans for the next three months and firms being less unhappy about stocks of finished goods.

The building and civil engineering industry also contributed to the overall improvement, its indicator climbing for a second month and pointing to a much stronger situation than normal. Firms remain positive about their stocks, and recruitment plans are well above normal.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell no fewer than 5.3 points to just above the historical average, due primarily to lower expected sales volumes over the next three months.

The indicator for the service sector fell slightly further but still shows a somewhat stronger situation than normal, and firms’ overall view of business volumes is well above the historical average.

The consumer confidence indicator decreased marginally but is still around the historical average. The micro index fell to its lowest for more than three years, due mainly to a further fall in how much consumers plan to spend on capital goods in the coming year.

Changes to the consumer survey

Since November 2017, the two questions about expectations for housing prices are no longer form part of the consumer survey. Since January 2018, the questions about plans to buy a car, purchase a home and make home improvements in the next 12 months are included in the survey only every third month (January, April, July and October).