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Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, June

Published: 27 January 2016

Consumer confidence in Finland’s economy strengthened in January

Consumers’ confidence in the economy has improved for a change. The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 8.2 in January, having been 2.4 in December and 4.7 in November. Last year in January, the CCI received the value 6.0. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.7. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,240 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 4 and 19 January.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the four components of the CCI, expectations especially concerning Finland’s economy and general unemployment development improved clearly in January from December and the previous year. Views on unemployment still remained rather gloomy, however. Consumers’ expectations concerning their own economy improved slightly in January. By contrast, assessments concerning own saving possibilities weakened somewhat.

In January, consumers regarded the time fairly favourable for taking out a loan and, for the first time in a long time, also for buying durable goods but not for saving. In January, employed consumers felt personally more threatened by unemployment than usual, as was the case already in December and one year ago.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In January, 37 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 25 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding proportions were 24 and 38 per cent in December and 27 and 29 per cent one year ago in January.

In all, 24 per cent of consumers believed in January that their own economy would improve and 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. The respective proportions in December were 23 and 16 per cent.

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, 15 per cent of consumers thought in January that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 48 per cent of them believed it would increase. The corresponding proportions were 10 and 60 per cent in December and 13 and 57 per cent one year ago.

Eleven per cent of employed persons reckoned in January that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 20 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty-three per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

In January, consumers predicted that consumer prices would go up by 1.4 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In January, 51 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Many households planned on spending money on home repairs, interior decoration and travel. Sixteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and more households than usual, that is, nine per cent, to buy a dwelling during the next 12 months. Twenty-one per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

In January, 52 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile. In all, 65 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 74 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. Households mainly planned on saving for a rainy day or for holiday making. Next to traditional bank accounts, the most common planned investment targets were investment funds.

In January, 67 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Fourteen per cent of households considered raising a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In January, Greater Helsinki had a brighter view of the economy than the rest of the country. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were clearly most optimistic. Pensioners had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 01/2015 12/2015 01/2016 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,7 22,9 -6,5 6,0 2,4 8,2 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,3 14,1 2,3 6,7 4,2 6,3 -
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,0 25,3 -27,1 -2,5 -10,4 3,7 =
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 1,7 1,5 1,4  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3,9 27,6 -51,1 -24,0 -29,7 -18,7 -
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,3 7,6 -18,8 -8,9 -5,2 -5,2 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 19,2 16,8 25,3 +
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,6 36,8 -19,6 6,8 4,5 3,4 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,0 42,0 -47,1 14,3 20,1 25,1 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,2 52,2 10,9 44,0 45,5 41,5 =

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.

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 2016, January. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 27.1.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. January 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2016/01/kbar_2016_01_2016-01-27_tie_001_en.html