Concepts and definitions

Balance figure

A balance figure expresses qualitative answers to Consumer Barometer questions in terms that can be interpreted numerically. The balance figures are obtained by deducting the weighted proportion of negative answers from that of positive answers. The balance figures can range between +100 and -100. A positive balance figure denotes an optimistic and a negative balance figure a pessimistic view on the economy.

Consumers' assessment of the economy

The Consumer Barometer includes questions about certain economic matters.

Individual indicators are based on the following questions:

  • consumers' assessment of the development of the Finnish economy and their own economic situation as well as the development of consumer prices over the past and coming year.
  • consumers' assessment of changes in unemployment over the next 12 months.
  • consumers' assessment of how favourable the present time was for making major purchases, saving, or raising a loan.
  • consumers' assessment of how much they would be spending on durable goods over the coming year, compared to the past year.

The indicators' statistical unit is the individual consumer, and the measurement unit is "percentage of consumers".

The household indicator is based on the following question:

  • consumers' assessment of the financial situation of their own household.
The indicator's statistical unit is the household, and the measurement unit is "percentage of households".

Households' borrowing plans

The Consumer Barometer includes questions about if and why households intend to raise loans. The indicator's statistical unit is the household, and the measurement unit is "percentage of households".

Households' saving plans

The Consumer Barometer includes questions about households' plans to save money, their reasons for saving, and how they intend to use their savings. The indicator's statistical unit is the household, and the measurement unit is "percentage of households".

Households' spending plans

The Consumer Barometer includes questions about major purchases that the households intend to make. The indicator's statistical unit is the household, and the measurement unit is "percentage of households".

Intended spending purposes include:

  • acquisition or change of owner-occupied dwelling over the next 12 months
  • acquisition of new or used motor vehicle over the next 12 months
  • acquisition of a holiday home, renovation, home decorating, household appliances, home electronics, recreational equipment, vehicles other than private cars, holiday trips in Finland, holiday trips abroad over the next 6 months.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.11.2014].
Access method: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/kbar/kas_en.html.

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