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Latest publication: Consumer survey 2017, May

Published: 27 April 2017

Consumers believe Finland’s economy and employment will improve

Consumers’ confidence remained strong in April. The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 21.5 in April, having been 22.9 in March and 20.8 in February. Last year in April, the CCI received the value 9.8. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.9. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,199 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 3 and 18 April.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the components of the CCI, expectations concerning general economic development or Finland’s economy and unemployment improved slightly in April compared to March. In contrast, views on one’s own economy and saving possibilities weakened somewhat. Compared with the corresponding period last year, all components strengthened apart from saving possibilities.

In April, consumers’ views on Finland’s economy were very positive. Views concerning one's own economy and unemployment development were also optimistic. The confidence in decreasing unemployment was highest in a decade and the views on Finland’s economy were the best since 2010. In April, consumers considered their household's saving possibilities average over the next 12 months.

In April, consumers regarded the time favourable for buying durable goods and especially for taking out a loan but not so much for saving. Employed consumers felt in April that their personal threat of unemployment has decreased clearly in recent months.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In April, as many as more than one-half, or 52 per cent, of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while only 10 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding proportions were 46 and 11 per cent in March and 35 and 23 per cent one year ago in April.

In all, 28 per cent of consumers believed in April that their own economy would improve, while 10 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 31 and 9 per cent, and one year earlier 28 and 15 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 45 per cent of consumers thought in April that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 19 per cent of them believed it would increase. The corresponding proportions were 43 and 18 per cent in March and gloomy 19 and 46 per cent one year ago.

Eighteen per cent of employed persons reckoned in April that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 14 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in April that consumer prices would go up by 1.6 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent. Consumers estimated that inflation is currently 1.1 per cent. In April 2016, the estimate was clearly lower, 0.5 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In April, 44 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. General intentions to spend money were mostly moderate in April. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and eight per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In April, 19 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Altogether, 60 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for saving in April. In all, 67 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 75 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. In April, households mainly planned on saving for a rainy day or for a holiday trip. Next to various bank accounts, the most planned investment targets were investment funds.

In April, 75 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. The long-term average proportion is 62 per cent. Fourteen per cent of households considered raising a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In April, consumers' confidence in the economy was strongest in Greater Helsinki and Western Finland, and weakest in Eastern Finland. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees and entrepreneurs were most optimistic. Pensioners and unemployed persons had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 04/2016 03/2017 04/2017 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11.9 22.9 -6.5 9.8 22.9 21.5 ++
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8.3 14.1 2.3 8.4 12.4 10.0 +
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3.5 25.3 -27.1 4.4 17.9 21.1 ++
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2.2 4.6 0.6 1.3 1.6 1.6  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3.8 27.6 -51.1 -15.4 12.1 13.2 +
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1.3 7.6 -18.8 -2.7 4.8 4.6 +
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18.4 41.8 -14.2 19.9 17.0 21.5 +
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10.4 36.8 -19.6 0.6 12.7 12.9 =
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17.7 42.0 -47.1 28.2 32.1 33.3 ++
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39.6 52.2 10.9 41.9 49.1 41.7 =

The balance figures are obtained by deducting the weighted proportion of negative answers from that of positive answers. The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 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 .


Source: Consumer Survey 2017, April. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, Kaisa Lahtinen 029 551 3554, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 27.4.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. April 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 24.6.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2017/04/kbar_2017_04_2017-04-27_tie_001_en.html

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