Economic Tendency Survey August 2023
Gloomy signals from the service sector
The Economic Tendency Indicator fell 2.5 points to 85.2 in August, due mainly to weaker signals from services, which are now the most pessimistic part of the business sector.
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell just under a point to 96.6. It has now fallen for three straight months to its lowest since August 2020. The decrease in August was due to a continued decline in expectations for future production.
The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry went against the flow and climbed to 97.3. Sentiment is weaker than normal among builders but close to the historical average among civil engineers. Insufficient demand is the most commonly cited constraint on activity in both cases, but the share of firms reporting a lack of demand is much higher among builders (66 per cent) than civil engineers (47 per cent).
The confidence indicator for the retail trade edged down to 88.4. The decrease was due to weaker sentiment among food retailers, where the indicator fell 4.6 points to 94.4. Specialist retailers moved in the other direction, their indicator climbing 4.1 points to 89.9.
The confidence indicator for the service sector dropped 4.1 points to 87.2, thus overtaking services as the most pessimistic part of the business sector.
The consumer confidence indicator fell to 70.4 as a result of consumers having weaker expectations for their personal finances and, above all, the Swedish economy over the next 12 months.