Sweden's economic confidence improved less than economists expected in March, data released by the National Institute of Economic Research (NIER) showed Wednesday.
The economic tendency indicator increased to 95.4 in March from 95.1 in February and 90.3 in January. Economists were looking for a reading of 97 for March. The index, however, stayed below its its historic average, and indicates that growth in the Swedish economy is still weaker than normal.
Swedish consumers were more upbeat about the economy and their personal finances in March, with the relevant sub-index rising to 2.8 from -1 in the previous month. The index was forecast to rise to 1.
Confidence in the manufacturing sector remained downbeat during the month. The corresponding indicator edged up to -10 from -11. Economists had forecast a faster increase to -8.
The confidence indicator for the construction industry fell two points in March and is considerably below the historic average. At the same time, the indicator for the retail trade fell one point and stayed below the historic average.
Meanwhile, the private service sector confidence indicator rose nine points in March and is now six points below the historic average.
by RTT Staff Writer
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