Economic Tendency Survey February 2023

Some sectors rally in February

The Economic Tendency Indicator climbed from 83.3 in January to 85.7 in February. The biggest improvement was in the services indicator, which gained 3.0 points, while the construction indicator fell 2.1 points. There were smaller movements in the other business sector indicators.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry rose in February from 100.4 to 102.2 after falling for eight straight months. Having plummeted 17 points in January, the indicator for steel and metals bounced back strongly, jumping 25 points to 103.9, which points to slightly stronger sentiment than normal.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell to 94.5. Sentiment in civil engineering deteriorated but remains better than normal, while sentiment among builders fell further and is weaker than normal.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell slightly, and this remains the most downbeat sector. Larger stocks had a negative effect, while stronger expectations for sales volumes pulled the other way.

The confidence indicator for the service sector climbed 3.0 points to 89.5, thanks to a less negative view of future demand and better business performance in recent months.

The consumer confidence indicator improved for a second month, climbing 2.2 points to 59.9, but remains at record-low levels. Consumer indicators have moved similarly in Sweden and several other EU countries and are currently around the same level.