Economic Tendency Survey November 2023

Many companies expect continued increases in sales prices

The Economic Tendency Indicator edged down in November from 84.9 to 84.6. Seven out of ten construction firms cite weak demand as a constraint on production. Prices are expected to rise in all parts of the business sector other than construction, where they are expected to fall.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry decreased marginally and points to normal sentiment for a third successive month. The picture does, however, vary considerably between industries. By far the strongest signals are from manufacturers of transport equipment other than motor vehicles, but makers of motor vehicles and electronics are also reporting a much stronger situation than normal. Two areas where sentiment is much weaker than normal are non-metallic mineral products and printing.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 1.9 points to 91.5 and thus remains below the historical average. The two component indicators moved in different directions, with civil engineering climbing 5.7 points to 101.1 and homebuilding dropping 2.8 points to 90.4.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell 2.9 points to 88.0 and shows much weaker sentiment than normal. The decrease was a result of negative signals about recent months’ sales.

The confidence indicator for the service sector edged down to 82.5. This remains the most pessimistic part of the business sector. The indicator for architectural services is at an almost record-low 76.0.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 2.2 points to 72.8 but remains very low by historical standards.