Business confidence unchanged

Sami Pakarinen

The economic outlook in all main sectors is gloomier than the long-term average, especially in construction and manufacturing

Confidence Indicators August 2023

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Manufacturing confidence slightly better

In manufacturing, confidence rose by one point in August. The latest balance reading was -19. 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 continued to thin. Inventories of finished products are still clearly above normal levels. Capacity is only 55% in full use by companies, which is one percentage point lower than in the previous month.

In July, industrial confidence in Finland was still clearly weaker than the EU average.

Confidence in construction rising slightly

In August, the balance figure describing confidence in construction rose to -32. The balance figure was two points higher than the revised figure in July. The long-term average is -7.

The order backlog improved slightly from the previous month, but 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 July.

Confidence in services remained unchanged

Confidence in services remained in August on level with the previous month. The balance figure measuring trust was +1. 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 increased compared to previous months. Sales expectations also remain positive.

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

Retail trade confidence rose slightly

In retail trade, confidence ended up at -13 in August. The balance figure was one point higher than in the previous month. The long-term average is -1.

In retail trade, sales have contracted slightly compared to previous months. Sales expectations for the coming months, on the other hand, remain pessimistic. Inventories contracted from the previous month, but are still at a high level.

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