Consumers increasingly downbeat about the Swedish economy

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell 0.5 points in November and is now 3.6 points above the historical average. All of the confidence indicators deteriorated somewhat, except for the manufacturing indicator which gained 0.6 points. The construction indicator fell 0.7 points, the retail indicator 1.7 points and the services indicator 1.3 points. All of the business confidence indicators are nevertheless above the historical average, albeit the services indicator only marginally so. The consumer confidence indicator also continued to decline, falling 0.8 points in November to slightly more than 3 points below the historical average.

Overall business confidence stable above the historical average

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry climbed 0.6 points in November and is now 8 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the assessment of current order books was more positive, while production plans were unchanged, and the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was less positive.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry fell 0.7 points in November but remains well above the historical average. Both of the questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: the assessment of current order books was marginally less positive, and the industry's expansive employment plans were revised down slightly.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade dropped 1.7 points in November but remains slightly more than 6 points above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: historical sales and the assessment of stocks of goods were less positive, while expectations of sales in the coming months were revised up slightly.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 1.3 points in November and is now only marginally above the historical average. All three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: historical demand was weaker, expectations of demand in the coming months were less positive, and firms’ assessment of how their operations have developed was more negative.

Consumers have pessimistic expectations

The consumer confidence indicator slipped a further 0.8 points in November after tumbling as many as 5 points in October, and is now slightly more than 3 points below the historical average. Three of the five questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution, most notably consumers’ increasingly negative expectations of the Swedish economy over the next 12 months. Their assessment of their personal finances both at present and over the next 12 months was also slightly more negative, while their view of the Swedish economy at present was unchanged. On the other hand, consumers were much more positive about whether now is a good time to make major purchases. There is therefore a clear dividing line between households' view of the current situation and the situation in a year’s time. The assessment of the current situation is still more positive than normal, while expectations are considerably more pessimistic than normal.

For further information:

Roger Knudsen, Head of Economic Tendency Surveys +46 8 453 59 06
Maria Billstam, Assignments, methods and samples +46 8 453 59 06
Sarah Hegardt Grant, Head of Communications +46 8 453 59 11


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