Sweden's economic tendency indicator, which measures business and consumer confidence, fell to 69.7 in April from 71.2 in March, the National Institute of Economic Research said Wednesday.

The think tank said the fall is mainly due to a substantial weakening in construction activity and increased household pessimism. The situation is now much weaker than normal in all sectors.

In April, households were highly pessimistic about the economic situation. The consumer confidence indicator fell to minus 21 from minus 16.5 in March. Meanwhile, economists had expected a reading of minus 14.5.

Among the sub-indicators of the consumer confidence index, the micro index, which measures consumer confidence in personal finances, stood at minus 4.3, largely unchanged from the previous month's minus 4. This indicates that confidence in personal finances is considerably gloomier than normal. The macro index, which measures consumer confidence in the Swedish economy, fell to minus 60.2 from minus 53.9.

Households' view on the development of unemployment over the next 12 months rose to 79.8 from 74.9, while the gauge for inflation expectations eased to 1.7 from 2.

The situation in the Swedish business sector deteriorated further in the first quarter of this year. The confidence indicator was at minus 27, down from minus 24 recorded in the previous quarter. The sentiment indicator for the manufacturing sector dropped to minus 35 from minus 33.

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