Business Sweden’s Export Managers’ Index, EMI, remained virtually unchanged during the fourth quarter. The EMI increased marginally by 0.1 points to 50.7 in the first quarter, from 50.6 in the third quarter. The fact that EMI is close to the 50-mark – the difference between optimism and pessimism – indicates that the export industry has a balanced view of exports going forward.
The outlook for exports differs considerably between the current situation and over the three-month perspective. The EMI current fell by 3.5 points to 50.3 in the fourth quarter, from 53.8 in the third quarter. However, after having declined five quarters in a row, the EMI forecast – the sub-index for forward-looking issues – increased. The forecast increased by 3.7 points to 51.1 in the fourth quarter, from 47.4 in the previous quarter. The fact that the EMI forecast is now above the 50-mark indicates that sentiment among export companies is once again on an optimistic curve in relation to the prospects for exports seen from a three-month perspective.
Of particular note in this survey was that all of the sub-indices based on current situations, with the exception of the index for profitability in export sales, had fallen and were close to or below the 50-mark. On the other hand, several of the sub-indices based on forecasts (the three-month perspective) had increased.
The companies are currently dissatisfied with in both their export sales and export order stocks. Both sub-indices are considerably below the 50-mark. The index for export sales fell by 7.8 points to 44.6 in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter. The index for the export order stocks fell by 5.6 points to 38.0 in the fourth quarter, compared with the previous quarter. On the other hand, an increasing number of companies now have a more optimistic view of profitability in relation to export sales.
However, when it comes to the three-month perspective, the outlook among export companies is more optimistic. This is particularly reflected in the increase in the index for projected export sales and profitability in export sales. Both of these forward-looking indices are once again above the 50-mark which signals optimism.
The outlook for projected export demand differs from region to region. The index for projected export demand is above the 50-mark, which indicates that sentiment among the export companies is normal. Conversely, the index for Western Europe as well as Central and Eastern Europe is considerably below the 50-mark, which indicates pessimism.
It is gratifying that the future prospects for export companies has strengthened somewhat, but worrying that the outlook for the projected export demand from Europe is so gloomy.
The next Export Managers’ Index will be published on 13 February 2020.
About The analysis
Business Sweden’s quarterly index showing the current mood of Swedish exporting companies as well as their near-future outlook for exports to the regions of the world.
The index is a measure of companies’ perceived export demand in the market, where a level above 50 indicates market expansion and a level below 50 indicates market contraction. The index can be split into sub-indices for current and forecast export demand, and contains information on export sales, expected regional demand and perceived order stock.
Export Mangagers' index Q4 2019
Publishing dates 2020
Below are the Swedish publishing dates of the EMI report. The English version is available on the website a few days after.
13 February: EMI Q1
14 May: EMI Q2
20 August: EMI Q3
12 November: EMI Q4