A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, November

Published: 27 March 2009

Consumer pessimism abated slightly in March

Consumers' confidence in the economy has recovered slightly but still remains weak. The consumer confidence indicator stood at -1.5 in March having been -3.9 in February and January. At its lowest in December 2008 the confidence indicator was -6.5. Confidence in the economy has been negative since October 2008 and before that during the recession years of the early 1990s. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,494 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 19 March.

Consumers' confidence in all four components of the consumer confidence indicator improved slightly in March when compared to the previous month. However, views about Finland's economy and unemployment continued to be bleak. In addition, fear of personal unemployment continued to increase in March. On the other hand, consumers continued to assess their saving possibilities as excellent, and some optimism was expressed in respect of consumers' own economic situation. In March the time was considered more favourable than before for raising a loan.

Consumer views on the economic and financial conditions in Finland in March 2009, balances*

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 13.1 21.8 -6.5 12.9 -3.9 -1.5 - -
CCI components:              
Own economic situation
in 12 months' time
9.2 14.1 2.3 9.8 3.0 3.4 - -
Households' saving possibilities
in the next 12 months
35.9 52.0 10.9 49.0 45.1 50.3 ++
Finland's economic situation
in 12 months time
3.9 21.7 -27.1 -10.5 -14.4 -13.6 - -
Finland's unemployment situation
in 12 months time
3.5 27.6 -51.1 3.2 -49.4 -46.1 - -
in 12 months' time, per cent
2.1 4.6 0.7 3.6 1.8 1.8  
Own threat of unemployment
at present
2.9 7.6 -18.8 6.1 -14.6 -18.8 - -
Financial situation of household
at present
26.5 35.1 14.7 32.1 30.9 33.5 ++
Favourable time to make major purchases
at present
19.9 37.7 -14.2 24.2 28.6 25.5 +
Favourable time to save
at present
10.9 36.8 -19.6 31.0 6.7 9.4 -
Favourable time to raise a loan
at present
18.1 42.0 -47.1 3.7 2.3 7.6 -
* The balance figures are obtained by deducting the weighted proportion of negative answers from that of positive answers. The consumer confidence indicator is the average of the balance figures for the CCI components. The balance figures and the confidence indicator can range between -100 and 100 - the higher the balance figure, the brighter the view on the economy.
** ++ Situation is very good, + Situation is good, - Situation is bad, - - Situation is very bad. Deviation of balance from average has been compared to standard deviation.

In March 25 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 45 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. Twelve months earlier the respective proportions were 17 and 36 per cent. In all, 20 per cent of consumers believed in March that their own economy would improve and 14 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One year ago the corresponding proportions were 30 and 14 per cent.

Only 7 per cent of consumers thought in March that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 80 per cent of them believed it would increase. Twelve months earlier the respective proportions were 37 and 30 per cent. Just 5 per cent of employed persons believed in March that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 31 per cent thought it had grown. The corresponding proportions were 7 and 28 per cent in February and 17 and 11 per cent one year ago. In March 41 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 22 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in March that consumer prices would go up by 1.8 per cent over the next 12 months. The respective figure was at its highest in June 2008, at 4.6 per cent. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.1 per cent.

Altogether 57 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in March. Twelve months earlier the corresponding percentage was 76. Sixty-eight per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 82 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In March 55 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. At its lowest in October the proportion was only 13 per cent. In March 14 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

In March 55 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. One year previously the respective share was 48 per cent and at its lowest in October 2008 it stood at 30 per cent. In March many households had plans to purchase, among other things, hobby equipment and entertainment electronics during the next six months. In the next twelve months, 15 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 8 per cent a dwelling. In last year's March the corresponding proportions were 18 and 9 per cent.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 10/1995-3/2009


Consumers' micro and macro indicators 10/1995-3/2009*

* Micro indicator is the average of three balances: own economy and household's saving possibilities in 12 months' time, and household's financial situation at present.
Macro indicator is the average of two balances: Finland's economy and unemployment in 12 months' time.

Deviation of CCI from country average in EU member states, February 2009

* Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Average 10/1995-. Data for Ireland missing.
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, February 2009

Source: Consumer Survey 2009, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,kuluttaja.barometri@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö

Consumer Confidence 2009, March (pdf 204.0 kB)


Tables in databases

Last updated 27.3.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. March 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2009/03/kbar_2009_03_2009-03-27_tie_001_en.html