Economic Tendency Survey July 2021

Manufacturers firing on all cylinders

The Economic Tendency Indicator climbed from 119.8 to 122.4 in July, hitting a new record high for a third successive month. This high level is still largely a result of manufacturers firing on all cylinders.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry rose 4.1 points to 129.2, its highest level ever. The increase was due chiefly to firms’ view of the size of their stocks having improved further, with stocks now accounting for more than half of the indicator’s high level. Firms’ view of their current order books also contributed to the rise, but expectations for production volumes were less optimistic than in June.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 1.2 points to 108.4. The decrease was a result of firms being less positive about the size of their order books and slightly less optimistic in their employment plans.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade climbed 4.5 points to 119.5. Sentiment improved among specialist and food retailers, but deteriorated in the motor trade.

The confidence indicator for the service sector gained almost 3 points to 115.7. This was due mostly to demand for firms’ services having increased, but there was also a slight improvement in how they view their business situation.

The consumer confidence indicator dropped 2.8 points to 106.5. All questions other than personal finances over the past year played a part in the decline, the largest contribution coming from the question about personal finances over the coming year.