Swedish orders up, but jobs not on the way

Swedish growth stabilised during the second quarter, but the number of people in work has fallen, according to the National Institute of Economic Research (NIER).

In its quarterly Business Tendency Survey, the institute said that orders at Swedish firms were stable and that production grew marginally. Moderate growth in both orders and output could be expected in the third quarter.

Businesses do not expect growth to bring jobs, however, with firms anticipating staff cutbacks during the autumn. The number of jobs in Swedish industry also fell during the second quarter.

The institute’s confidence indicator showed wide variations between different industries, with manufacturers’ confidence falling for the second quarter in a row to –11 on NIER’s scale, while confidence in the retail sector, excluding food retailers, was at 24 points.

The construction industry also saw an upswing in orders and took on more workers in the third quarter, although the industry reported trouble in finding skilled labourers. The survey showed that a considerable increase in construction is expected in the autumn, with an accompanying increase in job opportunities.

Domestic demand for cars also rose marginally, although the automotive industry reported weak growth and reduced orders. Nearly half the firms in the automotive industry reported making staff cutbacks in the past few months.