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Several changes to the Consumer Survey starting from May 2019

The name of the Consumer Survey is changing in May 2019: the new name of the statistics is Consumer Confidence. A longer name used in data collection is the Consumer Confidence Survey.

Data collection method

Data for the Consumer Survey have been collected by telephone interviews starting from 1987. From May, the Consumer Confidence Survey will be made by the so-called mixed-mode data collection: apart from telephone interviews, with a web form filled by the respondent. An individual inquiry form has been compiled for each collection mode.

The new population of the survey is formed by persons aged 18 to 74 living in Finland (in the Consumer Survey persons aged 15 to 84). The sample size diminishes a little and is monthly 2,200 persons (in the Consumer Survey 2,350 persons). In addition, the panel design will be in use in future: each person takes part in the survey two times within around six months, and each month one-half of them or 1,100 are new sample persons (in the Consumer Survey a new sample each month). The new methods are described in more detail in the Quality description of the statistics on consumer confidence (in Finnish).

Data content

The data content of the statistics on consumer confidence is considerably more limited and lighter than earlier. In future, the survey will focus on examining the consumers’ sentiments, expectations and plans concerning the economy. The following sections are removed from the form: saving, investment and loan targets, financing forms for buying a dwelling and a car, general repairs of dwelling and ownership of modern equipment in households. In addition, a few of the background questions are no longer asked. Statistics Finland will continue compiling statistics on the prevalence of modern equipment in other ways to be published later.

All the consumer confidence survey questions concern the respondent personally and no longer the respondent’s whole household. The change does not have an effect on opinion questions but concerns questions analysing the financial situation, saving possibilities and intentions of taking out a loan and of buying. The change simplifies the weighting method of the survey: in future, only individual weights are used in raising the results to the level of the population and in adjusting for non-response. The calibration of individual weights is renewed starting from May.

Consumer Confidence Indicator

The calculation of the survey's most important result, the Consumer Confidence Indicator (CCI), also changes in May, because its components change partly on the European Commission's initiative. The components of the new CCI are: consumer's own economy now, consumer's own economy in 12 months, Finland's economy in 12 months and consumer's spending money on major purchases in the next 12 months compared to the past 12 months. Of the present components, expectations concerning general unemployment and the household’s saving possibilities are removed. They are replaced by own economy now and spending money on major purchases. It is believed that the new CCI anticipates the development of private consumption better than the present indicator. More detailed information on the change of the CCI can be found on the European Commission's website.

Time series

The changes described above inevitably have an effect on the results of the statistics on consumer confidence. It is probable that the time series of the statistics will break. The change will be analysed in depth during this spring with the help of parallel data collections made in February to April 2019. The aim is to describe the size of the effect the changes have on different indicators of the statistics and try to find a way to keep the long time series of consumer confidence uniform in future as well.

Last updated 25.3.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.6.2023].
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