Economic Tendency Survey December 2020

Business confidence gloomier in December

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell slightly from 97.2 in November to 95.6 in December. All sectors other than construction and consumers contributed to the decrease, which was largely a result of firms being less positive about the current situation.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry dropped 3.0 points to 106.9, due almost entirely to firms’ view of their stock levels. Production plans and firms’ assessment of their order books were unchanged from November.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry climbed for a third month, gaining 0.7 points. The increase was a result of stronger signals from civil engineering, as the housebuilding indicator fell slightly.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade decreased in December as a consequence of weaker signals about sales in recent months. These signals were offset to some extent by firms’ view of their stocks and somewhat more positive sales expectations.

The confidence indicator for the service sector fell 2.2 points to 86.4, due to weaker signals from firms about how both their business and demand have developed. After plummeting 21 points in November, the indicator for the hotel and restaurant industry fell a further 4 points in December.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 3.7 points to 92.3. The increase was broad-based, with four of the five questions in the indicator contributing. The broad improvement is also clear from how both the macro index and the micro index – which summarise consumers’ view of the Swedish economy and their personal finances respectively – rose by around the same amount as the overall indicator.