Business confidence weakened in October


Confidence fell in October in service industries and in construction, which was already low. Manufacturing confidence remained unchanged – a slight improvement in retail trade.

Confidence Indicators October 2023

Last updated

Source: EK (Macrobond)

Manufacturing confidence unchanged

In manufacturing, as in September, the balance figure of the confidence was -21 in October. The confidence is still clearly below its long-term average, which is +1.

The order situation has weakened and production is expected to decline in the coming months. Inventories of finished products decreased slightly in October. Capacity of utilisation rates are decreasing, and only 52% of enterprises had capacity in full use.

In September, confidence among Finnish manufacturing enterprises was the second weakest among EU countries.

Confidence in construction continued to fall

The balance figure describing confidence in construction fell to -41 in October, while the balance figure was -36 in September.  The long-term average is -7.

The order backlog weakened compared to the previous month, and expectations concerning the development of the number of personnel in the construction industry in the coming months were subdued.

In an EU comparison, confidence in construction was weakest in Finland in September.

Confidence in services slowed down slightly

Confidence in services weakened in October. The balance figure measuring confidence was -7, while the revised balance figure for September was -5. The long-term average for the service sector indicator is +12.

The general economic trend has weakened in recent months, but sales have continued to grow slightly. Sales are expected to increase slightly in the coming months.

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

Retail confidence on the rise

In retail trade, confidence strengthened by three points in October. The latest reading was -10. The long-term average is -1.

Sales contracted during the autumn and sales expectations were also in the red, although expectations were slightly lower than in September. Inventories remained almost at the previous month’s level.

Retail confidence was the fourth weakest in the EU in September.