Expansive recruitment plans in the construction sector

The Economic Tendency Indicator fell 0.8 points in February and is now not quite 5 points above the historical average. The sector indicators also changed only slightly: the manufacturing and services indicators fell a little, while the construction and retail indicators edged up. All of the sector indicators are well above the historical average. The consumer indicator, however, continued to decline, falling another point in February, and is somewhat below the historical average.

Employment continues to climb

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell 0.6 points in February and is now not quite 7 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: the assessment of current order books was less positive, while production plans were revised up a shade, and the assessment of current stocks of finished goods was slightly more positive.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry gained 0.4 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. One of the two questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: the sector’s already expansive employment plans were revised up further, while the assessment of current order books was more negative.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade gained 0.5 points in February and is now 8.5 points above the historical average. Only one of the three questions included in the indicator contributed to the increase: historical sales were better than in January, while the assessment of stocks of goods was less positive, and expected sales growth was revised down marginally. Looking at the main subsectors, the indicators for the food trade and the motor trade fell, while the indicator for the specialist retail trade rose slightly.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector fell 0.8 points in February and is now 4 points above the historical average. Two of the three questions included in the indicator made a negative contribution: historical demand was slightly weaker than in January, and expectations for demand in the coming months were not as optimistic, while firms’ assessment of how their operations have developed was somewhat more positive.

Consumer expectations increasingly negative

The consumer confidence indicator fell a further point in February to 97.4. Four of the five questions included in the indicator contributed to the decline: consumers’ view of both their personal finances and the Swedish economy in 12 months was more pessimistic, and their assessment of both the current state of the economy and whether now is a good time to make major purchases was more negative than in January; only their view of their personal finances at present was more positive. Consumers’ assessment of the current situation is still more positive than normal, while expectations 12 months ahead 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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