Business outlook for the service sector has weakened during the autumn
Across the country, the business outlook for the service sector continued to weaken in January 2023. The balance figure that reflects the business outlook remained negative (-26) and was lower than in any previous quarter in 2022. The expectations of service sector companies were clearly weaker than usual. The business outlook balance figure was -30, which is slightly higher than the low of -38 in 2022. The sales volume is expected to decrease in 2023, mainly due to insufficient demand. Production costs have increased strongly, but the market believes that the peak has passed, which is reflected in improved profitability expectations.
The business outlook for service sector companies in Uusimaa also continued to deteriorate due to weaker demand. The balance figure for the current economic conditions was -28 in January, compared with -15 in October. The business outlook remained uncertain, with a balance figure of -28, which is slightly more positive than in October 2022 (-34). The outlook for service companies in Uusimaa is close to that of the whole country’s average. The labour force is expected to decrease slightly in the coming months. Inadequate demand was the most common hindrance to an increase in production.