Slight rise in the Economic Tendency Indicator

The Economic Tendency Indicator climbed 0.3 points from 95.1 in February to 95.4 in March. It is now slightly less than five points below the historic average, and indicates that growth in the Swedish economy is still weaker than normal. The increase  is explained by the private service sectors and by the consumers. For manufacturing industry, construction industry and for retail trade, however, the situation is almost unchanged compared with February.

Confidence indicator for industry as a whole climbs for a fourth successive month

The confidence indicator for the manufacturing industry gained one point in March and is now five points below the historic average. Two of the three questions underlying the indicator made a positive contribution. The assessment of the inventory situation is less negative, and production plans are slightly more optimistic, while the assessment of order books is slightly more negative. Employment in the manufacturing industry has fallen further, and plans point to further cutbacks.

The confidence indicator for the construction industry fell two points in March and is considerably below the historic average. New orders have begun to rise again slightly, but both construction output and employment have continued to decline. Tender prices have also continued to fall. Construction firms still anticipate moderate growth in new orders in the coming months, but both output and employment plans still point to decline.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell one point in March to six points below the historic average. Retail sales have increased in recent months, but growth is still entirely in the food trade. Retailers anticipate healthy sales growth in the coming months, primarily in the food trade. Expectations in the specialist retail trade and the motor vehicle trade are more cautious.

The confidence indicator for the private service sector rose nine points in March and is now six points below the historic average. Demand has risen in recent months, while employment has decreased somewhat. Service firms are relatively optimistic about the coming months and expect demand to continue to pick up. Employment is expected to be largely unchanged during the period.

Consumer confidence in the economy has improved

The Consumer Confidence Indicator (CCI) climbed almost four points in March from -1.0 to 2.8 and is now only a couple of points below the historic average. The improvement was due to an increasingly positive view of the Swedish economy. The Macro Index, which measures consumer confidence in the economy, climbed 12 points in March.

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 04
Sarah Hegardt Grant, Head of communications   +46-8-453 59 11, +46-70-267 80 41