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Sales in the business sector increased in August

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Recovery in the business sector continued in August and sales rose by 2 percent compared with the previous month, according to Statistics Sweden’s preliminary sales indicator. Compared with August last year, sales fell by 5 percent in calendar-adjusted figures.

In response to the great interest in the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the Swedish economy, Statistics Sweden is publishing preliminary sales statistics. This publication is separate from the ordinary production.

Sales increased by 2 percent in August 2020, seasonally adjusted and compared with July 2020. This is the third month consecutive month with rising sales in the business sector. However, sales remain below pre-crisis levels. At an annual rate, sales decreased by 5 percent in current prices, adjusted for calendar effects.

Sales index, seasonally adjusted value development and level (2011 = 100):

Sales index

Non-calendar-adjusted, sales in current prices were 7 percent lower in August, compared with the corresponding month last year.

The figures show that sales in both the goods and the service industries decreased at an annual rate.

Sales growth for July have been revised in seasonally adjusted figures to 2 percent (previously 1 percent). The calendar-adjusted figures have been revised to -8 percent ( previously-9 percent).

Table 1. Sales at current prices compared with the same period last year weighted by sales

Industry August 2020 (%) Acc. 2020 (%) Weight 1 (%)
Goods -6 -7 39.6
Manufacturing -5 -9 24.0
Engineering industry -10 -17 11.1
Construction -5 1 9.6
Services -8 -4 60.4
Motor trade 0 -6 5.4
Rail transportation -43 -27 0.2
Public transportation -15 -9 0.8
Taxi -30 -28 0.2
Aviation -77 -65 0.4
Hotels -43 -44 0.6
Restaurants -24 -23 1.3
Travel agencies -87 -73 0.9
Culture -25 -19 0.8
Business sector 2 -7 -5 100.0

1) Industry turnover as a share of the business sector 2) The business sector excluding real estate, financial activities, education and healthcare.

Table 2. Sales in current prices compared with the same period last year weighted by gross added value

Industry August 2020 (%) Acc. 2020 (%) Weight(%)
Goods -4 -6 38.3
Services (incl. real estate) -8 -3 61.7
Business sector (incl. real estate)2 -7 -4 100.0

1) Industry turnover as a share of business sector 2) Business excluding financial activities, education and healthcare.

Facts: Preliminary sales statistics

The preliminary statistics are produced in order to provide a current picture of the economic situation in the business sector. These statistics are based on VAT data, supplemented with data from the production value index (PVI). For August, the weighted response rate was 61 percent, somewhat lower than for prevoious months. The statistics are deemed to maintain a high level of quality for the business sector as a whole and the sub-sectors goods industry and service industry. Although the uncertainty is greater for individual industries, the statistics still indicate an expected development. The figures are only published in current prices, and there was one less working day in August 2020 than in August 2019.

In autumn 2020, Statistics Sweden will publish the monthly sales indicator on the following dates:

Reference month Publication date
September 2020-10-22
October 2020-11-23


Julia Kahlström

+46 10 479 46 53

Mattias Kain Wyatt

+46 10-479 43 56

Johannes Cleris, Press officer

+46 72 084 40 83