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Latest publication: Consumer survey 2014, August

Consumer confidence already back at its average level

Consumers' confidence in the economy strengthened further in October. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 12.3 in October, having been 11.7 in September and 8.2 in August. Consumer confidence had already returned to its average long-term level in October and at the same time was clearly stronger than one year ago. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,460 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 20 October.

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, expectations concerning both own and Finland's economy improved from the previous month in October. Views on the country's economic development were last this bright in 1997. By contrast, assessments about both general and own unemployment were still gloomy. Consumers continued to regard their saving possibilities as good and thought in October that the time was favourable for raising a loan and especially for buying durable goods. Inflation was expected to accelerate during the coming year.

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

  Average
10/95-
Max.
10/95-
Min.
10/95-
October
2008
September
2009
October
2009
Outlook**
Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 12.9 21.8 -6.5 -0.2 11.7 12.3 +/-
CCI components:              
Own economic situation
in 12 months' time
9.1 14.1 2.3 5.3 6.6 9.0 +/-
Households' saving possibilities
in the next 12 months
36.3 52.0 10.9 40.2 47.8 43.0 +
Finland's economic situation
in 12 months' time
4.2 21.7 -27.1 -21.0 19.5 21.4 ++
Finland's unemployment situation
in 12 months' time
2.1 27.6 -51.1 -25.2 -27.0 -24.1 -
Others:              
Inflation
in 12 months' time, per cent
2.1 4.6 0.7 3.6 1.6 2.1  
Own threat of unemployment
at present
1.1 7.6 -18.8 -1.0 -15.2 -12.9 - -
Financial situation of household
at present
26.8 35.1 14.7 29.7 30.0 31.8 +
Favourable time to make major purchases
at present
20.5 41.8 -14.2 -14.2 33.8 36.3 ++
Favourable time to save
at present
10.8 36.8 -19.6 31.0 7.4 7.3 +/-
Favourable time to raise a loan
at present
18.1 42.0 -47.1 -47.1 23.1 23.0 +/-
* 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.
** ++ Outlook is very good, + Outlook is good, +/- Outlook is neutral, - Outlook is poor, - - Outlook is very poor. Deviation of balance from average has been compared to standard deviation.

As many as 57 per cent of consumers already believed in October that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while only 14 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. One year ago, the corresponding proportions were pessimistic 15 and 52 per cent. In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in October that their own economy would improve and only 10 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. Twelve months earlier the corresponding proportions were 24 and 15 per cent.

Only 17 per cent of consumers thought in October that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 58 per cent of them believed it would increase. Just 9 per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 30 per cent thought it had grown. Twelve months earlier the respective proportions were 10 and 15 per cent. In October, 41 per cent of employed persons thought that the threat had remained unchanged and 20 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in October that consumer prices would go up by 2.1 per cent over the next 12 months. In September, the respective proportion was 1.6 per cent. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.1 per cent.

In all, 55 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in October. Twelve months earlier the respective percentage was 74. Sixty-five per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money, and 77 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next year. Households mostly save for a rainy day. The most usual investment targets after fixed-term and investment accounts are insurance policies as well as mutual funds in which interest had at times already died down slightly.

In October, 67 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. In last year's October the respective proportion was only 13 per cent. This October, 12 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

Fifty-nine per cent of consumers thought in October that the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Only 30 per cent of consumers thought this one year ago. Consumption intentions were mostly moderate in October, but many households had plans to spend money on, for instance, travel, and home repairs and furnishings during the next six months. Sixteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 8 per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In last year's October the corresponding proportions were 15 and 7 per cent.

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

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time 10/1995-10/2009

Deviation of CCI from country average in EU member states. September 2009*

* Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Average: 10/1995-. Data for Ireland missing.
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, September 2009
http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/db_indicators8650_en.htm

Source: Consumer Survey 2009. October. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö

Consumer survey 2009, October (pdf 20 pages 197.9 kB)

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Last updated 27.10.2009

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