Economic Tendency Survey October 2020
Brighter signals from all sectors
The Economic Tendency Indicator rose further from 94.5 to 96.3 in October and has now climbed for six successive months since bottoming out at 61.2 in April. All parts of the business sector as well as consumers contributed to the increase in October.
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry gained 1.3 points in October. While the improvement in September was due primarily to more positive production expectations, the rise in October was a result of firms being more positive about their current stocks and order books.
The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry climbed almost 3 points. Less pessimistic employment plans contributed most to this increase, but firms were also more positive about their current order books.
The confidence indicator for the retail trade rose 2.4 points. The increase was driven entirely by the motor trade. Signals from food retailers were still strong but, like those from fuel retailers, weakened in October.
The confidence indicator for the service sector again pointed to the weakest situation, despite climbing 1.4 points to 88.4. The improvement was due to a more positive view of future demand and slightly less negative signals about current demand.
The consumer confidence indicator rose 1.6 points to 90.0, due chiefly to consumers being more optimistic about the outlook for their personal finances over the coming year. For a sixth month in succession, fewer households expected unemployment to rise over the coming year.