A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, April

Review

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In March, 21 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 28 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding shares were 21 and 30 per cent in February and 45 and 9 per cent in last year’s March.

In all, 28 per cent of consumers believed in March that their own economy would improve and 11 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 26 and 11 per cent, and one year earlier 28 and 9 per cent.

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 36 per cent of consumers thought in March that unemployment would decrease over the next 12 months, while 23 per cent of them believed it would increase. In February, the shares were 35 and 21 per cent and 52 and 14 per cent one year ago.

In March, 32 per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all. Nineteen per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 12 per cent thought it had grown.

Consumers predicted in March that consumer prices would go up by 1.9 per cent over the next 12 months. In February, the predicted inflation rate was 1.8 per cent and its long-term average is 2.1 per cent.

Saving and taking out a loan

In March, 71 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for saving. The long-term average proportion is 59 per cent. In March, 70 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 80 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. The long-term averages of these proportions were 61 and 75 per cent.

In March, 66 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for taking out a loan. Fourteen per cent of households considered raising a loan within one year.

Buying of durable goods

Thirty-nine per cent of consumers considered the time favourable for buying durable goods in March. The long-term average proportion is 45 per cent. Nineteen per cent of consumers planned on increasing and 34 per cent planned on reducing their spending on durable goods over the next 12 months. The corresponding proportions in February were 21 and 30 per cent.

In March, 17 per cent of consumers were either very or fairly certain to buy a car during the next 12 months. Seven per cent of households while considered buying a dwelling. Twenty-one per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Method of the Consumer Survey

The Consumer Survey is a telephone interview survey by means of which it is possible to measure Finns’ images - assessments and expectations - of the general economic development and the financial situation of one's own household. In addition, the survey is a tool for finding out households’ intentions to make major purchases, save money or take out a loan. For the Consumer Survey, answers are given by means of answer options (qualitative survey).

The first Consumer Survey interviews were conducted in November 1987. Until 1991, the survey was carried out twice a year, in May and November. In 1992, the survey times increased to four: the survey months were February, May, August and November. Since October 1995, the Consumer Survey data have been collected monthly on assignment and partial financing of the European Commission .

Sampling and data collection

The population of the Consumer Survey comprises 4.5 million persons aged 15 to 84 and their 2.7 million households in Finland. A sample of 2,350 persons is drawn for the survey for every month. The same sample is also used for the data collection of the Finnish Travel Survey. The target area is the whole country and the respondents of the survey represent the population in Finland, according to age, gender, region of domicile and native language. The interviews are mainly conducted from Statistics Finland's Telephone Interview Centre (CATI), during the first two or three weeks of the month.

In February 2019, in all, 1,205 responses were gained, so the non-response rate of the survey was 48.7 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. Possible over-coverage (dead, moved abroad etc.) is also included in non-response here.

Weighting

The response data of the Consumer Survey are expanded to the whole population with weighting coefficients. Weighting corrects the effects of non-response and improves the statistical accuracy of the data. The weights are established by using a calibration method (Calmar) and the probability of each observation to be included in the sample. The figures and series presented are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information, see Methodological description .


Source: Consumer Survey 2019, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tuomas Parikka 029 551 3276, Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 27.3.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. March 2019, Review . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2019/03/kbar_2019_03_2019-03-27_kat_001_en.html