Industry and the manufacturing sector in Liechtenstein continue to be satisfied with their general situation. Although assessments of the current business situation have deteriorated slightly since mid-2018, prospects do remain positive by international comparison, the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA) writes in its Economy Monitor for the first quarter. This was in part attributable to the sharp rise in exports of 8.4 percent last year. Employment in the country increased by an impressive 3 percent, while unemployment was at a low rate of 1.8 percent. Globally, early indicators do suggest the economy is slowing down significantly, but they at the same time demonstrate ongoing positive growth.
The banking sector can also look back on a successful year. Profits were on a par with those in 2017, with some banks even registering an improvement. However, the financial markets are especially dependent on the expansionary monetary policy of central banks. The European Central Bank is maintaining its expansionary monetary policy for longer than expected. The U.S. Federal Reserve suspended its previously announced plans to raise rates. This greatly limits the scope for monetary policy to respond to a downturn in the economy.