Major labour shortages in the business sector

The Economic Tendency Indicator edged up from 112.2 in June to 112.4 in July and continues to signal very positive sentiment in the economy.  All of the business indicators show a stronger or much stronger situation than normal, the most optimistic sector being manufacturing. The consumer confidence indicator fell slightly but remains above the historical average.

The manufacturing industry continues to report a much stronger situation than normal, with the confidence indicator rising slightly to 120.3 in July from 119.9 in June. Firms’ overall assessment of their order books is the most positive yet recorded. On the other hand, around four out of ten firms report shortages of senior technical staff, which is more than at any time in the past 30 years.

The confidence indicator for the building and civil engineering industry climbed marginally in July and once again shows a very strong situation. Employment is reported to have increased in recent months, but a very high proportion of firms again cite labour shortages as the main factor currently limiting production.

The confidence indicator for the retail trade fell 0.8 points due to slightly greater dissatisfaction with current stocks of goods. On the other hand, retailers report a favourable sales situation, and expectations remain optimistic.

The confidence indicator for the service sector gained 0.6 points in July and points to a stronger situation than normal. Despite strong employment growth, firms report very considerable staff shortages, the likes of which were last seen back in 2007. The most acute shortage is reported among architects and IT consultants.

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Sarah Hegardt Grant, Head of Communications +46 8 453 59 11