Business confidence unchanged

Manufacturing confidence made an upturn. Other main industries declining.

Confidence Indicators May 2024

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Confidence upwards in manufacturing

In manufacturing, the balance reading measuring confidence was -13 in May. Confidence rose by four points from the previous month’s level. The confidence is still clearly below its long-term average, which is +1.

Production is expected to increase slightly in the coming months. Order backlogs remained thin also in May. Inventories of finished products decreased slightly from the previous month, but are above the normal level. Capacity is fully utilised by 60% of companies, which is slightly higher than last month.

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

Confidence in construction fell

In May, the balance figure describing confidence in construction fell to -38. The balance figure was one point lower than the figure for April. The long-term average is -8.

The order backlog improved slightly from the previous month’s level, but is still clearly below the level considered normal. Expectations regarding the number of personnel in the construction sector remained gloomy.

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

Confidence in services fell slightly

Services confidence fell by two points in May. The balance figure measuring trust was -7. The long-term average for the service sector indicator is +11.

The economic outlook has continued to be challenging in recent months. Sales decreased slightly compared to the previous month. Sales expectations are still positive, but quite moderate.

In April, confidence in services in Finland was the third weakest among all EU countries.

Retail confidence declining

In retail trade, confidence fell in May from the previous month to -19. This is three points less than April’s confidence reading. The long-term average is -1.

In retail trade, sales have contracted even further compared to previous months. Sales expectations for the coming months have continued to weaken. Inventories increased from the previous month’s level, but are still below the level considered normal.

Retail trade confidence was the third weakest among EU countries in April.