Business confidence on the rise


All main industries saw growth after a long time. The last time this happened was in October 2021.

Confidence Indicators December 2023

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Confidence in manufacturing rose slightly

In manufacturing, the balance reading measuring confidence was -20 in December. Confidence rose by one point from the previous month’s level. 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 become even thinner. Inventories of finished products decreased slightly from the previous month, but are still clearly above the normal level. Only 46% of companies are fully utilised at capacity, a lower share than last month.

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

Upward confidence in construction

In December, the balance figure describing confidence in construction rose to -36. The balance figure was seven points more than in November. The long-term average is -7.

The order backlog remained close to the previous month’s level and is still clearly below the level considered normal. Expectations regarding the number of employees in the construction sector are still weak, but less pessimistic than in November.

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

Confidence in services rose slightly

Confidence in services increased in December. The balance figure measuring confidence was -2, which is three points more than the revised reading in November. The long-term average for the service sector indicator is +12.

The economic outlook has still been difficult in recent months, but the trend is more positive than in November. However, sales have still grown very moderately compared to previous months. Sales expectations are also still cautiously positive.

In Finland, confidence in services was clearly below the EU average in November.

Retail confidence rose

In retail trade, confidence rose to -15 in December, which is one point higher than in November. The long-term average is -1.

In retail trade, sales have decreased compared to previous months. Sales expectations for the coming months are also weak. Inventories remained at the previous month’s level.

Retail trade confidence was weaker in November than the EU average.