Economic Tendency Survey February 2024

Selling prices close to normal

The Economic Tendency Indicator was almost unchanged in February, inching down to 90.5 from 90.6 in January. There were generally only minor changes, except in the construction indicator which gained more than 3 points. Selling prices in the business sector as a whole are less widely expected to rise than they were in January, and pricing plans are only just above the historical average.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 0.8 points to 98.4. Firms anticipate a slight decrease in employee numbers over the next three months, but this expectation is still above average, as manufacturers normally have negative employment plans.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry climbed 3.4 points to 94.7 but is still weaker than normal. The improvement was due to less negative employment plans.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade edged up from 96.1 to 96.6. The increase was a result of more firms, especially in food retail, reporting insufficient stocks.

The confidence indicator for the service sector crept up to 90.4, but this remains the most pessimistic part of the business sector, as it has been since October last year.

The consumer confidence indicator was unchanged at 82.7. The macro index summarising consumers’ view of the Swedish economy fell 0.8 points to 93.1. The micro index summarising their view of their personal finances climbed 0.7 points to 76.8 but remains much weaker than the macro index.