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Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, November

Published: 29 April 2013

Consumers’ confidence in the economy weakened in April

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 6.4 in April, having been 10.2 in March and 9.6 in February. This April, confidence in the economy was at a lower level than one year earlier and also weaker than the long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey for which 1,442 persons resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 18 April.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

All four components of the consumer confidence indicator fell in April compared with March. Views on households' saving possibilities weakened most. Consumers' views concerning their own economy, as well as Finland's economy and the development of unemployment were more pessimistic than the long-term average. By contrast, although weakened, assessments concerning their own saving possibilities still remained fairly bright.

In April, employed consumers felt that their threat of unemployment decreased slightly compared with March. Consumers regarded the time more favourable for raising a loan than for buying durable goods or saving.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In April, 29 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 30 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In March, the corresponding proportions were 33 and 24 per cent and in last year's April 35 and 25 per cent.

In all, 24 per cent of consumers believed in April that their own economy would improve while 14 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 17 per cent of consumers thought in April that unemployment would decrease in Finland over the year, while 51 per cent of them believed it would increase. Twelve months earlier the corresponding proportions were 23 and 39 per cent.

Eleven per cent of employed persons believed in April that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 18 per cent thought it had grown. In April, 46 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 25 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in April that consumer prices would go up by 3.2 per cent over the next 12 months. The long-term average for the predicted inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In April, 34 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. An equal share (34%) thought it was not a good time for consuming. Sixteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and eight per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Twenty per cent of households were planning home renovations within the next 12 months.

Saving and taking out a loan

Altogether 53 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for saving in April. In all, 64 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 76 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. Households mostly save for a rainy day or for holidaymaking. The most popular investment targets for savings were fixed-term or investment accounts, followed by investment funds and insurances.

In April, 59 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. In April, 12 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year. The most popular use of loans was a dwelling in a housing corporation.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 04/2012 03/2013 04/2013 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,5 22,9 -6,5 10,4 10,2 6,4 --
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,7 14,1 2,3 6,5 7,0 5,6 --
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,8 25,3 -27,1 3,8 3,5 -1,6 -
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 3,2 3,0 3,2  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -1,0 27,6 -51,1 -9,0 -17,8 -19,1 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) 0,4 7,6 -18,8 -1,7 -7,2 -2,5 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 19,5 41,8 -14,2 3,1 -1,3 0,4 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,6 36,8 -19,6 13,6 5,7 5,9 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,3 42,0 -47,1 16,0 12,0 14,8 +/-
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,4 52,2 10,9 40,6 48,3 40,9 +/-

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 (positive) balance figure, the brighter the view on the economy.

Explanations for Outlook column: ++ 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.

The population and sample of the Survey

The population of the Consumer Survey comprises 4.4 million persons aged 15 to 84 and their 2.6 million households in Finland. The population was extended to persons aged 75 to 84 starting from January 2012. The gross size of the monthly sample of the Survey is 2,350 persons (previously 2,200 persons).

In April, the non-response rate of the Survey was 38.6 per cent. The non-response rate includes those who refused from the survey or were otherwise prevented from participating, as well as those who could not be contacted.

The extension of the population, that is, responses from persons aged 75 to 84, is estimated to have weakened the value of the consumer confidence indicator by good one unit starting from January 2012. This has primarily been caused by a drop in the balance figure of one component, namely own household's saving possibilities. The extension of the population has also somewhat affected the results on owning various home technology.

EU results

The (seasonally adjusted) Consumer Survey results for all EU countries are released on the European Commission website: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results; http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/index_en.htm


Source: Consumer Survey 2013, April. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tara Junes 09 1734 3503, Pertti Kangassalo 09 1734 3598, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 29.4.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. April 2013. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 11.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2013/04/kbar_2013_04_2013-04-29_tie_001_en.html