Economic Tendency Survey February 2017
Retail rebounds as tendency indicator remains firmly positive
The Economic Tendency Indicator changed only marginally in February, from 111.9 to 111.6, and continues to point to an ebullient economy. All parts of the business sector report a strong or very strong situation. Retail confidence has recovered from the fall in January and is now back slightly above normal levels. Consumers remain upbeat.
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell a point in February but still reflects a much stronger situation than normal. Both firms’ view of their current order books and stocks of finished goods and their production plans for the coming months are contributing to this strong picture.
The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry gained another point and once again shows a very strong situation. Firms are happy with the current state of their order books, and their recruitment plans for the next three months are considerably more optimistic than normal.
The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 3.7 points and is now back above the historical average. Despite positive expectations, firms again reported slightly weaker sales growth than normal over the past three months.
The confidence indicator for the service sector moved only marginally and remains a fair way above the historical average. Firms report healthy demand for their services in recent months, and their expectations for demand and employment in the coming months remain optimistic.
Economic Tendency Indicator
Building and civil engineering
Private service sectors
Note. The standardisation of the Economic Tendency Indicator means that it cannot be calculated as a weighted mean of the levels of the sector confidence indicators.
The indicators are revised each month when the time series are seasonally adjusted. The values will often then move slightly up or down.
The situation is: ++ very strong, + strong, = normal, - weak, -- very weak.
The confidence indicator for the total industry is obtained by weighting the confidence indicators for building and civil engineering, manufacturing, the retail trade and the private service sector on the basis of the number of employees in the population. These weights are different to those used in the calculation of the Economic Tendency Indicator.
The confidence indicator for the private service sector has been estimated for January 1996 to November 2001 on the basis of quarterly series for a limited number of service industries.
Household expectations on inflation and interest rate
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean excluding extreme values (percent)
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, mean all answers (percent)
Expected inflation 12 months ahead, median (percent)
Interest rate expectation, mean excluding extreme values (percent):
1 year ahead
2 years ahead
5 years ahead