Published: 27 January 2011
Consumers' confidence in the economy has recovered slightly from December's downswing. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 16.6 in January, having been 13.5 in December and 20.8 in November. In January, consumers' confidence was somewhat stronger than one year ago and when compared with the long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,433 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 3 and 19 January 2011.
Consumer confidence indicator
Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, expectations concerning Finland’s economy and the development of unemployment strengthened clearly in January from the previous month. By contrast, consumers’ views about their own economy and saving possibilities weakened slightly, but remained bright as concerns saving. In January, consumers regarded the time more favourable than one month earlier for raising a loan and especially for purchasing durable goods.
In January, 40 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 18 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding proportions were 32 and 26 per cent in December and 57 and 14 per cent one year ago. In all, 26 per cent of consumers believed in January that their own economy would improve and 12 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.
Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time
Altogether 34 per cent of consumers thought in January that unemployment would decrease in Finland over the year, while 26 per cent of them believed it would increase. Previously, the corresponding proportions were gloomy: 26 and 35 per cent in December and 19 and 51 per cent one year ago.
In January, 18 per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 14 per cent thought it had grown. Twelve months previously, these proportions were also gloomy at 10 and 26 per cent. In January, 43 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 25 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.
In January consumers predicted that consumer prices would go up by 3.1 per cent over the next 12 months. In January last year the predicted inflation rate was 1.9 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.1 per cent.
As many as 66 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in January. One year earlier, 56 per cent of them thought so. Sixty-seven per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 78 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. Households mostly save for a rainy day. After the popular fixed-term or investment accounts, the most common investment targets are investment funds and insurances.
In January, 68 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. In January, 13 per cent of households were planning to raise a loan within one year.
In January, 51 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. One month ago the respective proportion was 45 per cent and one year ago 59 per cent. In January many households were planning to spend money on, for instance, travelling or purchasing of hobby equipment during the next six months. Fifteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and nine per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Last year in January the corresponding proportions were 15 and 8 per cent.
Consumers' views of the economy
|Average 10/1995-||Max. 10/1995-||Min. 10/1995-||01/2010||12/2010||01/2011||Outlook|
|A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4||13,3||22,9||-6,5||14,5||13,5||16,6||+|
|B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance)||9,1||14,1||2,3||10,2||9,3||8,3||-|
|D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance)||37,2||52,0||10,9||44,7||48,8||44,2||+|
|B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance)||5,3||25,3||-27,1||21,7||1,7||10,1||+|
|B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance)||1,4||27,6||-51,1||-18,7||-5,8||3,8||+/-|
|B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent)||2,1||4,6||0,6||1,9||3,0||3,1|
|C1 Favourability of time for buying durable goods (balance)||21,3||41,8||-14,2||38,2||17,9||27,5||+|
|C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance)||11,2||36,8||-19,6||8,6||17,7||19,9||+|
|C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance)||18,5||42,0||-47,1||23,2||19,6||22,5||+|
The balance figures are obtained by deducting the weighted proportion of negative answers from that of positive answers. The consumer confidence indicator is the average of the balance figures for the CCI components. The balance figures and the confidence indicator can range between -100 and 100 - the higher the balance figure, the brighter the view on the economy.
Explanations for Outlook column: ++ Outlook is very good, + Outlook is good, +/- Outlook is neutral, - Outlook is poor,-- Outlook is very poor. Deviation of balance from average has been compared to standard deviation.
The (seasonally adjusted) Consumer Survey results for all EU countries will be later released on the European Commission website: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results; http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/index_en.htm
Source: Consumer Survey 2011, January. Statistics Finland
Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo (09) 1734 3598, Pellervo Marja-aho (09) 1734 3349, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö
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