Economic Tendency Survey May 2019

Economic Tendency Indicator dips to historical average

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell from 102.5 in April to 99.8 in May and points to average confidence levels in the Swedish economy. The decrease was due to weaker signals from manufacturing and consumers.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry, which has been trending down since September, fell 4.0 points but is still above the historical average, pointing to a stronger situation than normal. Signals from the consumer goods industry are particularly strong, while the intermediate and capital goods industries report a situation close to normal.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry edged down from 102.7 in April to 102.4 in May. There are still big differences between the two questions: firms are relatively positive about their order books, but their recruitment plans are somewhat pessimistic and point to a slight reduction in the workforce.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade climbed for a third successive month, due primarily to fewer firms than in April reporting excessive stocks.

The confidence indicator for the service sector was unchanged at 99.3 and shows a normal situation overall. Firms nevertheless report stronger employment growth than normal, and their employment plans point to further growth.

The consumer confidence indicator fell 4.5 points to its lowest for more than six years. The decrease was due to consumers being more negative about both their personal finances and major purchases. The micro index plummeted 10.5 points, but this followed a relatively large increase in April.