The Riksbank’s Business Survey: The economic boom continues

The economic situation is deemed to be good and has been so the past twelve months. This is the view of representatives for some of Sweden's largest companies. Manufacturing companies are seeing strong demand from basically all export markets. “All markets and segments are developing reasonably well just now, it is positive everywhere” said one interviewee in the manufacturing sector.

Construction companies have a good inflow of orders from civil engineering and infrastructure projects, but uncertainty over developments on the housing market continues to be evident. They are no longer as optimistic about the future demand for housing and are therefore focusing more on their costs.

Within the manufacturing sector, the high demand is creating bottlenecks in production, leading to short-term solutions that increase the costs for input goods and transport, for example. The strong demand situation and higher cost pressures mean that many manufacturing companies are planning to raise their sales prices going forward.

The trade sector and companies that sell services directly to households continue to describe their customers as having good spending power. But as before, the tough competition from online traders is a challenge. Companies in the trade sector therefore see little scope for increasing prices at their preferred pace. “Increasing prices when there is a greater demand, that’s not possible”, said one interviewee in the retail sector.

Three times a year, the Riksbank interviews the largest companies in the construction, trade, manufacturing and parts of the service sectors. Representatives of 27 companies with a total of approximately 209,000 employees in Sweden were interviewed this time. The interviews were mainly held between 14 February and 28 February and are presented in the Riksbank’s Business Survey.

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The Riksbank is Sweden's central bank and an authority under the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. The Riksbank is responsible for monetary policy with the objective to maintain price stability. The bank has also been given the task to promote a safe and efficient payment system.