To main content

Large downturn in sales in industry

| Press releases

Industry sales dropped sharply in April compared with the same month the previous year, according to preliminary statistics based on the VAT Register. The decrease was 13 percent in total, although it was greater in individual industries.

The decrease was 13 percent in total, although it was greater in individual industries.

In view of the keen interest in the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the Swedish economy, Statistics Sweden is publishing preliminary sales statistics for April 2020. The publication is separate from the ordinary production and is classified as “experimental” statistics.

The figures show that sales in the goods industries decreased by 16 percent in April, while sales of services decreased by 12 percent.

“There are major differences between different industries. Some fare worse than others,” says Daniel Lennartsson, statistician at Statistics Sweden.

Travel agency sales dropped by 97 percent in April, compared with April 2019. Sales in the automotive industry, which is shut down, decreased by 72 percent. Hotels and restaurants decreased sharply, by 78 percent and 29 percent respectively. Airline industry sales fell by 85 percent.

At the same time, other industries are increasing or doing less poorly. The food industry rose by 10 percent in April and the retail trade only fell by 3 percent.

Sales in current prices compared with the same period last year


April 2020

January – April 2020 (%)


Goods industries -16 -5 40.8
Manufacturing industry -21 -6 24.9
Automotive industry -72 -21 4.8
Food industry 10 9 0.1
Construction industry -4 0 8.9
Services -12 -1 59.2
Sales of motor vehicles -26 -4 5.2
Retail trade -3 2 8.9
Transport by rail -37 -11 0.2
Public transport -15 -3 0.8
Taxi -44 -16 0.2
Airline industry -85 -36 0.4
Hotels -78 -28 0.5
Restaurant services -29 -13 1.2
Travel agencies -97 -35 0.9
Cultural affairs -41 -13 0.8
Business -13 -3 100.0

*Sector turnover as a percentage of total industry.

Facts: Experimental, preliminary sales statistics

These statistics were produced to provide a current picture of the economic situation in industry. The statistics are based on VAT data, which for April was supplemented with data from the Production Value Index (PVI).

For April, there is a weighted response rate of 60 percent. The quality of the statistics is considered to be high in total industries, as well as the sub-aggregates goods industries and services. Uncertainty is greater in individual industries, but nonetheless the figures indicate an anticipated development. In some industries, uncertainty is greater.

These statistics are neither fixed price nor calendar adjusted.
However, in April there is no calendar effect and prices for the first quarter increased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent.


Read more articles at on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting society


Daniel Lennartsson

+46 10 479 64 29