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Latest publication: Consumer survey 2017, September

Published: 29 May 2017

Consumer confidence rose to a new record level in May

In May the consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 24.1, while in April it was 21.5 and in March 22.9. The May figure is the highest in the measuring history 1995 to 2017. In last year’s May the CCI received the value 12.5. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.9. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,209 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 17 May.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the components of the CCI, expectations on unemployment development and household’s saving possibilities in particular improved in May compared with April. By contrast, views on consumers’ own economy weakened slightly and expectations concerning Finland’s economy remained almost unchanged. Compared with the corresponding period last year, all the components improved clearly in May.

In May, consumers’ views concerning Finland's economy and unemployment were very bright. The confidence in decreasing unemployment was highest in ten years and the views on Finland’s economy were the best since 2010. Views concerning one's own economy and possibilities to save were also optimistic in May.

In May, consumers regarded the time favourable for taking out a loan and a little also for saving and buying durable goods. Employed consumers felt in May that their personal threat of unemployment has decreased clearly in recent months.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In May, slightly over one-half, or 52 per cent, of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while only nine per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were 39 and 22 per cent in May.

In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in May that their own economy would improve and 12 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 28 and 10 per cent, and one year earlier 26 and 14 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, 47 per cent of consumers thought in May that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 16 per cent of them believed it would increase. In April the respective proportions were 45 and 19 per cent and twelve months ago gloomy at 22 and 38 per cent.

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

Consumers estimated in May that consumer prices would go up by 1.7 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 May 2016, the estimate was clearly lower, 0.5 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In May, 44 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. General intentions to spend money grew slightly in May. However, only 14 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car during the next 12 months. Eight per cent of households considered purchasing a dwelling. In May, 21 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

A total of 60 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in May. Sixty-six per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 81 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In May, 73 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. The long-term average proportion is 62 per cent. Thirteen per cent of households considered raising a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In May, consumers' confidence in the economy was strongest in Greater Helsinki and Northern Finland. Among population groups, salaried employees 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- 05/2016 04/2017 05/2017 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11.9 24.1 -6.5 12.5 21.5 24.1 ++
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8.3 14.1 2.3 6.6 10.0 9.0 +
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3.6 25.3 -27.1 7.0 21.1 21.9 ++
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2.2 4.6 0.6 1.3 1.6 1.7  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3.7 27.6 -51.1 -9.4 13.2 15.2 ++
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1.3 7.6 -18.8 -1.9 4.6 5.8 ++
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18.4 41.8 -14.2 18.7 21.5 19.4 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10.4 36.8 -19.6 -0.7 12.9 12.8 =
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17.7 42.0 -47.1 28.9 33.3 31.8 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39.6 52.2 10.9 45.8 41.7 50.2 +

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, May. 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 29.5.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. May 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.10.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2017/05/kbar_2017_05_2017-05-29_tie_001_en.html

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