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EK: Confidence in Finnish industries continues to weaken

The business lobby says problems will likely worsen as the coronavirus crisis gains momentum.

Kaupan työntekijä ja asiakas ruokakaupassa.
The retail sector also suffered, according to the business survey. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Confidence in Finland's economy plummeted during September, according to a business survey by lobby group the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).

The confederation said that the manufacturing confidence indicator was at -20 in September, the same level as in August. The long-term average is +1, according to EK.

Meanwhile, the confederation said that expectations regarding production are pessimistic in the coming months, explaining that orders continued to decline and that the production of finished goods also decreased compared to August, which was just above the long-term average.

Retail trade confidence levels also declined by seven points in September from the previous month. Confidence in retail stood at -5, slightly below long-term average of -1.

The business survey found that sales development was positive in September but views regarding future sales were extremely weak.

"It's worrying that confidence in services took a back seat, while the low pressure continued within the industrial and construction sectors," said the EK's lead economist Sami Pakarinen. He added that the near future was worrying, as it seems the country's economic problems would likely worsen as the coronavirus crisis gains further momentum.

Confidence levels within the service sector also decreased slightly in September, scoring -11 points, or a single point less than August's revised figure. The confederation noted that September's confidence levels were far away from the long-term average of +12.

The EK's business surveys are co-financed by the EU and have been carried out since 1966, according to the confederation.

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