Press release 9.1.2012

Statistics Finland to study household consumption

In early January, Statistics Finland launches its Household Budget Survey 2012, which is an extensive study of the consumption and cost of living of households in Finland. In the Survey, Statistics Finland will interview by telephone 8,000 households representing all households in Finland.

The main purpose of the Household Budget Survey is to examine what households in Finland spend their money on, in other words, how much they pay for food, housing, transport, leisure and health. Besides consumption expenditure, the Survey also studies households' ownership of durable consumer goods and their housing standards. Moreover, the Survey investigates the extent to which households utilise welfare services and the importance of public educational, health and social services to households' financial well-being.

"This Survey gives us information on households' consumption expenditure that we cannot get from any other source. Apart from interviewing the households, we also collect from them receipts for their purchases of daily consumer goods in order to study their everyday consumption. The data collection for the Household Budget Survey continues throughout 2012, which enables us to see how consumption varies by season," says Head of Research Juha Nurmela from Statistics Finland.

The data will be collected by Statistics Finland's own, nationwide network of interviewers. As in all the agency's statistics production, the data on individual households will be treated as strictly confidential.

The data will be widely utilised for statistics and research

Apart from actual comparisons of consumption expenditure between different population groups, the collected data will also be utilised for many other statistical and research purposes. For instance, information about households' consumption expenditure and its distribution between different products and services is exploited in the updating of the Consumer Price Index that measures the development of prices and inflation. Likewise, data on households' consumption expenditure are important in GDP calculations, as household consumption makes up more than half of the value of GDP.

The Household Budget Survey is utilised as the data source for social welfare studies and as a tool in planning social and economic policies. One of the aspects the Survey studies concerns the distances households need to travel to reach various services. The euro-denominated data on consumption are also converted into carbon dioxide emissions by means of special coefficients.

A survey equalling the Finnish Household Budget Survey is conducted in all EU countries as well as in many other countries of the world. The Survey and its methods are based on international recommendations. Household Budget Surveys in the present format have been conducted in Finland since 1966. The previous respective Survey took place in 2006. Most of the results from this Survey round will be published as statistics and reports in the early part of 2014.

Inquiries: Juha Nurmela +358 9 1734 2548; firstname.lastname@stat.fi

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