Economic Tendency Survey May 2024

Consumer sentiment improves for an eighth straight month

The Economic Tendency Indicator edged down 0.9 points to 94.0 in May and continues to show weaker sentiment than normal in the Swedish economy. There were generally only minor movements in the business sector indicators, the exception being a slide of almost 10 points in the retail indicator. The consumer confidence indicator has risen for eight successive months and is now above 90.0 for the first time since the beginning of 2022.

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 2.1 points to 98.5. Firms’ view of their order books deteriorated further in May and is more negative than normal, having trended down since the end of 2021 when record numbers were reporting relatively strong order levels.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 1.4 points. Firms’ view of how their order books have moved over the past three months has improved and is now close to the historical average, which was last seen in November 2022.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade plummeted 9.6 points to 92.3. The decline was broad-based with falls in all segments, but was most pronounced among speciality retailers where the indicator dropped 12.5 points to 90.1.

The confidence indicator for the service sector was the only business indicator that did not fall in May, edging up from 94.0 to 94.3, but still shows weaker sentiment than normal.

The consumer confidence indicator climbed a further 2.5 points to 91.3. The micro index summarising how consumers view their personal finances gained 3.6 points to 84.4, up from a low of 58.5 in October 2022. The macro index measuring how they view the Swedish economy edged up 0.4 points to 99.2.