Business confidence still decreasing


Only the construction sector saw an increase in April.

Confidence Indicators April 2024

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Confidence in manufacturing is decreasing

The balance figure measuring confidence in manufacturing was -17 in April. Confidence decreased by four points compared to the previous month. The confidence indicator is still clearly below the long-term average of +1.

Production is expected to decrease in the coming months. Order books continued to shrink in April. Finished goods inventories slightly increased compared to the previous month and are above normal levels. Capacity utilization is at full capacity in 58% of companies, slightly higher than last month.

In Finland, manufacturing confidence was weaker than the EU average in March.

Construction confidence increased

In April, the balance figure reflecting construction confidence rose to -37. The figure was three points higher than the March reading. The long-term average is -8.

Order backlog remained at the same level as the previous month, but is still well below the considered normal level. Expectations regarding the number of employees in the construction sector remained gloomy.

In the EU, construction confidence in Finland was the weakest in March.

Services confidence slightly declined

Services confidence dropped by one point in April. The balance figure measuring confidence was -5. The long-term average for the service sector indicator is +11.

The economic situation has remained difficult in recent months. Sales increased slightly compared to the previous month. Sales expectations are still positive but more moderate than the previous month.

In Finland, services confidence was the second weakest among all EU countries in March.

Retail trade confidence in decline

In April, confidence in retail trade dropped to -16 from the previous month, which is four points lower than the March confidence figure. The long-term average is -1.

Retail sales have continued to decline compared to the previous months. Sales expectations for the near future remain weak. Inventories decreased compared to the previous month but are still above the considered normal level.

In March, retail trade confidence in Finland was weaker than the EU average.