News 27 Jul 2021

Estimate of one’s own economy in the consumer confidence indicator the most positive in measuring history – but large differences in confidence between different population groups

The new consumer confidence indicator has been published this morning (27 July). The consumer confidence indicator stood at 4.4, which is a slight drop compared to 4.6 in June but still clearly above 2.7 in May. Confidence in the economy is very strong compared to the long-term average for the confidence indicator which is -1.7. In the same period last year, the value was still -1.6.

Consumers are confident about their own economy

In addition to strong confidence overall, of the components of the consumer confidence indicator, the estimate of one’s own economy at present was the most positive throughout the entire measuring history.

“Consumers’ confidence in their own economy has never been this high,” says Senior Statistician Pertti Kangassalo at Statistics Finland. “Of course, this is partly due to this coronavirus period when people have not been able to consume as before. Savings have accumulated, so it is natural that the financial situation is considered to be good.”

People also had significant intentions to spend money on durable goods: more people than before are planning to buy durable goods or are considering raising a loan for e.g. a dwelling, a renovation, or a car.

“Travelling abroad is not yet appealing, but the shares concerning buying a dwelling or cottage and renovations and raising a loan for that have been higher than before. Intentions to buy a car have also been fairly strong in recent months, which naturally is also connected to the financial situation, perhaps also to people increasingly living at cottages.”

However, the situation is not the same for everyone despite the considerable increase in confidence.

“While it is a fact that the shares have risen, the share of consumers with purchasing intentions or intentions to raise a loan is at most around 15 to 20 per cent. In the end, a rather small proportion of consumers is planning such things,” says Kangassalo.

Large differences in confidence between different population groups

Besides their own economy, Finns are confident that Finland's general economic situation will develop positively in the future. The unemployment is expected to decline again and the inflation to accelerate. However, it can be seen in the confidence that there are large differences between different population groups. Upper-level salaried employees are still clearly most optimistic (13.6) and unemployed and pensioners have the most negative expectations concerning economic development (-3.3 for both).

“The coronavirus crisis has treated people fairly unequally, and this is visible in the responses of various population groups and regions. High confidence in the economy does not affect everyone equally, but for some the situation has been really bad,” Kangassalo explains.

Consumer confidence in the economy usually decreases with the person’s age, and correspondingly the confidence typically increases as income grows. Men are also likely to have better confidence in the economy than women, but just recently this figure has started to turn in the opposite direction.

“This can be seen as surprising, because the coronavirus has expressly struck female-dominated fields harder.”

Further information:

Pertti Kangassalo, Senior Statistician, tel. p. 029 551 3598

pertti.kangassalo@stat.fi

Read more about consumer confidence here.

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