Business outlook for manufacturing and construction companies

Less dramatic business outlook

The business outlook for Finnish manufacturing and construction companies fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2022. Across the country, the decline in the business outlook for manufacturing and construction eased in early 2023, but forecasts for the future have remained weak. Like in the rest of the country, the business outlook is weak in Uusimaa, as well, despite the slight recovery, with the balance figure at -31.

Business outlook remained weak in the summer

For manufacturing and construction companies in Uusimaa, the business outlook decreased significantly at the end of the year. The balance figure for the current economic conditions was -34 in January, compared with -14 in October. Business outlook for the manufacturing and construction industries is uncertain. The balance figure for the business outlook is -31. In January, 55 per cent of the respondent companies were utilising their full production capacity, which is significantly less than in the previous quarter (70%). Labour force is expected to decline slightly in the early part of the year.

The business outlook for manufacturing enterprises in the whole country was clearly weaker than usual, although the estimated business outlook improved slightly from the autumn. The balance figure for manufacturing companies, which reflects the business outlook, turned negative in January (-13). The business outlook looks less dramatic than in the autumn of 2022. The balance figure for the outlook was -26 in January, compared with -37 in October. The growth of production in manufacturing companies is increasingly being hampered by estimates of insufficient demand in the future. However, the expected production costs in manufacturing started to decrease from last year’s peak, which will affect the profitability expectations, which have been negative for a long time.

Across the country, the business outlook for construction companies continued to deteriorate and was clearly below normal (-50). At the beginning of 2022, the business outlook was still positive, but it decreased throughout the year, remaining particularly weak in October (balance figure -61). The business outlook for construction remained exceptionally weak. The balance figure for January improved slightly from the previous quarter, but the balance figure is still very low: -48. Based on the companies’ responses, production is still expected to decrease in the construction sector due to insufficient demand. Based on the latest measurements, profitability expectations have increased slightly from last year’s low. The number of employees is expected to continue to decrease in the construction sector.

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