The Riksbank’s Business Survey in November 2018
Three times a year, the Riksbank interviews the largest companies in the construction, trade, manufacturing and part of the service sectors for it’s Business Survey, In the November edition, published on 5 December, Swedish businesses reported that, on the whole, the economic situation continues to be very good. Strong domestic and international demand is giving major Swedish companies good profitability, output and sales. One representative said: ”“Europe, the United States and Asia are all going well, simultaneously – that’s unusual.”
The economic situation continues on the whole to be very good for the business sector. Demand is strong in most parts of the world, which, together with stable domestic demand, is giving major Swedish companies good profitability, output and sales.
However, many companies see developments in the period ahead as uncertain. Those active in Sweden express unease over how household consumption will be affected by higher interest rates and the continued uncertain housing market. Even though export orders are generally good, the rate of increase has slowed somewhat in recent months, which may be a sign of falling demand. There is also a certain unease that the large stocks may be signaling that the economy will slow in the period ahead. In the near term, however, companies see no major changes in the economy.
The unusually hot summer has dampened consumer demand, which above all has affected the durable goods segment. In addition, the harvests were worse than normal, which has caused grain prices to rise. This is one explanation for why the consumer goods segment above all expects higher prices for several goods in the period ahead.
In-depth questions about wage-setting indicate that the shortage of labour is the most important factor when wages are determined. On the whole, major Swedish companies are still not having difficulty finding staff, which has also contributed to the modest wage growth. But specialists and persons with longer experience are more difficult to recruit and, for these groups, wages are increasing more rapidly. Download the entire report in English here.