Growing household optimism
The Economic Tendency Indicator fell just under one point in April after having risen nearly 10 points over the previous two months. It is marginally above the historic average, indicating that growth in the Swedish economy is more or less normal. In the business sector, the manufacturing industry and the retail trade made a negative contribution to the Economic Tendency Indicator this month. The confidence indicators for the private service sector and consumers made a positive contribution in April.
Upturn in business sector employment
The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry fell two points in April and is currently three points above the historic average. Both new orders and output volume were largely unchanged in the first quarter as was the assessment of the order situation. Industrial firms are relatively optimistic about the second quarter and forecast an increase in both new orders and output volume. Overall, employment is expected to remain almost unchanged.
The confidence indicator for the construction industry remained unchanged in April and is still considerably above the historic average. Civil engineering reports increased new orders, higher tender prices and increases in staffing, while the house building sector reports weaker growth. There are also appreciable differences between the sectors with regard to expectations. Civil engineering is the most optimistic sector and forecasts strong growth for the second quarter. House builders forecast largely unchanged output during this period.
The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell two points in April after having risen 12 points over the previous two months. The indicator is currently eight points below the historic average. As previously, there are major differences between the various sectors, with food trade sales showing the strongest growth. The specialist retail trade reports sales growth following several quarters of declining sales figures, while the motor vehicle trade reports reduced sales. The retail trade forecasts continued sales growth for the second quarter of the year, with the food trade the most optimistic sector as previously.
The confidence indicator for the private service sector rose three points in April and is once again above the historic average. Demand in the private service sector increased in the first quarter following two weak quarters. Service firms forecast a further increase in both demand and employment for the second quarter of the year.
Growing household optimism
The Consumer Confidence Indicator (CCI) rose nearly five points in April and is currently only marginally below the historic average. Confidence in both personal finances and the Swedish economy has become more positive.
For more information:
Roger Knudsen, Head of Economic Tendency Survey, +46-8 453 59 06, +46-70-491 36 04
Sarah Hegardt Grant, Head of Communications, +46-8 453 59 11, +46-70-267 80 41