Economic Tendency Survey March 2023

Tentative improvement in March

The Economic Tendency Indicator rose 2.0 points in March to 88.2. All sectors contributed to the rise, with the biggest improvements in retail and services.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry climbed 1.3 points to 103.4, thanks to firms revising up their expectations for production. Manufacturing is the only sector where the confidence indicator is above 100.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry increased marginally to 95.1. The two subsectors have moved in different directions over the past six months, and increasingly so in March. The indicator for civil engineering climbed to 105.7, while the homebuilding indicator edged down to 92.9.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade climbed 3.2 points to 81.8, but this is still the sector where sentiment is most negative. Signals are still weakest among specialist retailers, despite the indicator for this subsector improving the most in March.

The confidence indicator for the service sector also rose but still points to a weaker situation than normal. The picture in the sector is extremely varied. The weakest sentiment is among estate agents and property managers with an indicator of 78.6, while tour operators reported a very strong situation with an indicator of 114.2, which is by far the highest of all the subsectors.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed slightly from 61.1 to 62.8, due mostly to consumers being slightly less pessimistic about both their personal finances and the Swedish economy in 12 months.