Consumers upbeat about the buying climate

The Economic Tendency Indicator declined for a third successive month, falling 2.7 points from 104.2 in February to 101.5 in March. There were decreases in all of the sector indicators, most notably in the manufacturing indicator, which fell 4.6 points, but all are still above the historical average. The consumer confidence indicator, meanwhile, gained 2.9 points and is now also back slightly above the historical average.

Situation stronger than normal

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 4.6 points in March but remains more than 1 point above the historical average. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: the assessment of current order books and assessment of current stocks of finished goods were less positive, and production plans were less optimistic.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry dropped 3 points in March and is now 5.3 points above the historical average. Employment plans were revised down, while the assessment of current order books, which is the other question included in the indicator, improved marginally.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade dropped 1.5 points in March but is still well above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: expected sales growth was less optimistic, and the assessment of stocks of goods was less positive, while historical sales were better than in February.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 2.1 points in March and is now 1.5 points above the historical average. All three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decrease: historical demand was lower, expectations for demand in the coming months were somewhat less optimistic, and firms' assessment of how their operations have developed was less positive.

Consumers more positive about their personal finances

The consumer confidence indicator climbed 2.9 points in March after falling in the two previous months, pushing it back above the historical average. Three of the five questions included in the indicator made a positive contribution: above all, consumers were much more positive about whether now is a good time to make major purchases, and their view of their personal finances, both now and in 12 months, also contributed positively. Expectations for the Swedish economy in 12 months remained equally pessimistic, however, and consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy became more negative.

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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