Swedish Companies' Confidence Decreases due to Debt Payment Prioritisation
SEB’s Financial Officers’ survey, addressed to around 70 of Sweden’s largest companies, shows that respondents have remained optimistic during the spring, even if confidence has declined slightly. SEB’s Financial Officers Index for Sweden published now stands at 62, down from 65 in February.
“In this survey we asked financial officers of many of Sweden’s leading export-oriented companies how further SEK appreciation would affect their financial performance. Some 65% of respondents replied that the exchange rate was not critical for their results, while 24% replied that the current exchange rate was already problematic. SEB estimates that further modest SEK appreciation, in line with SEB’s forecasts, would pose few if any difficulties for most companies,” said Disa Hammar, credit analyst at SEB and co-author of the report with Nina Glifberg.
“Financial officers’ confidence in the financial position of their respective companies remains strong, even if it has weakened slightly since February. Their marginally less positive attitude is reflected in, among other things, an increasing prioritisation of debt repayment in the event of a cash surplus. Financial officers also signal a more optimistic view of Sweden than in February. In particular, a greater share of officers would like to employ more staff in Sweden. They would also prioritise strategic domestic investments, a strategy motivated by the country’s strong finances and economic growth,” added Hammar.