Economic Tendency Survey August 2022

Consumers still very downbeat

The consumer confidence indicator remains at record-low levels, improving only marginally by 0.2 points to 56.3 in August after previous months’ sharp decline. The Economic Tendency Indicator as a whole fell 3.9 points from 101.4 to 97.5 and is now below the historical average for the first time since January last year.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 3.0 points but is still at an unusually high level. The decrease in August was mainly a result of firms being less optimistic about future production.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry increased somewhat and points to stronger sentiment than normal. The civil engineering indicator climbed 1.5 points, while the homebuilding indicator dropped 0.7 points.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade edged up from 92.4 to 92.8 but continues to show a weaker situation than normal. Sentiment improved considerably among retailers of non-durable goods but worsened among specialist retailers. Many companies expect that selling prices will increase in the next three months, the highest expectations are in the retail of non-durable goods trade where approximately nine out of ten companies believe in increased prices.

The confidence indicator for the service sector plunged 6.3 points to 98.4, with all questions contributing to the decrease. The downturn was broad-based, with a decline in almost all industries.

The consumer confidence indicator improved marginally from a record-low 56.1 to 56.3 but is still unusually low. Consumer uncertainty has grown considerably over the past year, making it harder and harder for consumers to predict their future financial situation.