Business confidence declining


Confidence remained unchanged only in retail trade, downward trend in other main industries.

Confidence Indicators September 2023

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Confidence in manufacturing fell slightly

In manufacturing, confidence fell two points in September from previous month’s readings. The latest balance reading was -21. The confidence is still clearly below its long-term average, which is +1.

Production is expected to decrease in the coming months and order backlogs have remained thin. Inventories of finished products have increased and are still clearly above normal levels. Capacity is fully utilised by 55% of companies, which is the same share as last month.

In August, industrial confidence in Finland was the second weakest among EU countries.

Confidence in construction is slipping

In September, the balance figure describing confidence in construction dropped to -36. The balance figure was four points lower than in August. The long-term average is -7.

The order backlog weakened slightly from the previous month and is still clearly below the level considered normal. Expectations regarding the number of employees in the construction sector have continued to weaken.

Among EU countries, confidence in construction was weakest in Finland in August.

Confidence in services dipped

Confidence in services fell in September. The balance figure measuring confidence was -4, which is four points less than in August.

The long-term average for the service sector indicator is +12. The economic outlook has remained negative in recent months. Despite the weak economic outlook, sales have grown cautiously compared to previous months. Sales expectations also remain positive.

In Finland, confidence in services was slightly below the EU average in August.

Retail trade confidence remained unchanged

In retail trade, confidence remained unchanged at -13 in September. The long-term average is -1. In retail trade, sales have decreased compared to previous months.

Sales expectations for the coming months remain pessimistic. Inventories contracted slightly from the previous month, but are still at a fairly high level.

Retail trade confidence was slightly weaker in August than the EU average.