27 Feb 2008 08:00

SEB Financial Officers' Index: Surprisingly optimistic though respondents worried by potentially weaker demand

SEB's Financial Officers' survey, addressed to around 50 of Sweden's largest companies, presents an ambiguous picture. Most financial officers regard the business climate and their own company's financial strength favourably. At the same time, half of the survey's respondents are now worried about a potential fall in demand during 2008. SEB's Financial Officers' Index for February published today stands at 60, above the level of 59 in November, and well above its neutral level of 50.
 
"Swedish financial officers appear surprisingly optimistic, even though the message is mixed," says Louis Landeman, credit strategist at SEB and co-author of the report with Hanna Holmberg.
 
 
The survey reveals that one in four financial officers remains concerned by rising raw materials costs. At the same time, inflationary pressure appears moderate.
 
"Only 20 per cent of financial officers expect their own company to increase prices by 3 per cent or more in the next six months, while more than half believe they will raise prices by 1-2 per cent during the coming six months," Holmberg says.
 
This is the eight publication of SEB's Financial Officers' Index, a unique quarterly survey whose purpose is to reflect changes of sentiment in the financial environment and facilitate the understanding of economic and financial trends. The survey comprises a total of 15 questions covering areas such as business climate, strategic investments, employment, views on currencies and interest rates, financial strength, and lending attitudes amongst financial institutions. The full report (in Swedish) is available at www.sebgroup.com \Press.
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For further information, please contact:
Louis Landeman, Trading Strategy, SEB, tel. +46 8-506 232 11
Elisabeth Lennhede, Press Officer, tel. +46 70 763 99 16