Economic Tendency Survey April 2020

Record slide in Economic Tendency Indicator in April

The Economic Tendency Indicator, which summarises the responses of both firms and consumers, dropped 34 points from 92.5 in March to 58.6 in April, eight points beneath its lowest level during the financial crisis. All sectors and consumers alike contributed to the decline, but the sharpest fall was in the service indicator, which plummeted 37.6 points to a record-low 47.8.

April saw record falls in the manufacturing, retail, service and consumer confidence indicators. Not even during the financial crisis did these indicators decline as far in a single month.

The indicator for the manufacturing industry dropped slightly more than 30 points to 70.5, mainly as a result of weaker production plans.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell 31 points to 74.3. Despite this substantial overall decline, some segments bucked the trend. For example, the indicator for food retailers hit a record high.

The confidence indicator for the service sector fell furthest of the sector indicators, plunging almost 38 points to 47.8, well under the lowest level recorded during the financial crisis. The hardest-hit segment was hotels and restaurants, where the indicator tumbled to just over 44.

The indicator for the building and civil engineering industry is the only indicator still relatively unaffected by COVID-19, decreasing by just over six points to 93.

The consumer confidence indicator also dropped relatively sharply in April. Taken together with the steep fall in March, the indicator has dropped more than 25 points in two months.