Published: 27 June 2012
Consumers’ confidence in the economy weakened in June. In June, the consumer confidence indicator stood at 5.8, while in May it was 12.0 and in April 10.4. Confidence in the economy was weaker in June than one year earlier (11.4) and below the long-term average (12.9). The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,415 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 18 June.
Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)
Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, expectations concerning Finland’s economy and the development of unemployment weakened clearly in June from the previous month. Consumers' views sank again to the pessimistic figures of last winter. In contrast, their evaluations on the development of their own economy and saving possibilities remained almost unchanged in early summer. Of the components of the consumer confidence indicator, only views on own saving possibilities were better in June than the long-term average.
Consumers did not regard the time in June good for buying durable goods or taking out a loan. In contrast, the time was considered good for saving. In June, the personal threat of unemployment experienced by employed consumers was at the same level as in May.
Consumers' own and Finland's economy
In June, 21 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while clearly more, or 40 per cent, of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In May, the corresponding proportions were 32 and 25 per cent and in last year's June 26 and 30 per cent.
In all, 24 per cent of consumers believed in June that their own economy would improve while 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One year ago, the respective proportions were 25 and 17 per cent.
Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time
Unemployment and inflation
Altogether 16 per cent of consumers thought in June that unemployment would decrease in Finland during the next 12 months. Around one half, or 49 per cent of consumers reckoned that unemployment would increase. The corresponding proportions were 21 and 40 per cent in May and 29 and 30 per cent one year ago.
In June, 16 per cent of consumers believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months. An equal share, or 16 per cent, thought the threat had grown. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were 19 and 13 per cent. In June, 47 per cent of employed persons thought the threat of unemployment had remained unchanged and 21 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.
Consumers predicted in June that consumer prices would go up by 2.9 per cent over the next 12 months. In June last year, the predicted inflation rate was slightly higher, 3.4 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.2 per cent.
Saving and taking out a loan
In June, 61 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile. Sixty-three per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money. In May, the respective proportion was 67 per cent. Of households, 79 per cent believed they could save money during the next 12 months.
In June, 59 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. In May, this share was 65 per cent. As many households as on average, or 13 per cent of them, were planning in June to take out a loan within one year.
Buying of durable goods
In June, 40 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Although consumption intentions remained below their average level in June, many households had plans to spend money on, for instance, travel or buying of home technology during the next six months. Fourteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In last year’s June, the corresponding proportions were 15 and 6 per cent.
Consumers' views of the economy
|Average 10/1995-||Max. 10/1995-||Min. 10/1995-||06/2011||05/2012||06/2012||Outlook|
|A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4||12,9||22,9||-6,5||11,4||12,0||5,8||--|
|B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance)||8,9||14,1||2,3||5,2||7,2||6,4||-|
|B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance)||4,4||25,3||-27,1||-2,9||3,0||-11,1||--|
|B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent)||2,2||4,6||0,6||3,4||3,1||2,9|
|B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance)||0,3||27,6||-51,1||-1,3||-10,7||-18,4||--|
|B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance)||0,9||7,6||-18,8||7,1||-0,7||1,1||+/-|
|C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance)||20,2||41,8||-14,2||10,2||3,0||8,0||--|
|C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance)||11,7||36,8||-19,6||14,2||14,8||14,7||+/-|
|C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance)||17,5||42,0||-47,1||3,4||21,4||12,1||-|
|D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance)||38,0||52,2||10,9||44,8||48,5||46,2||+|
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 (positive) 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 population and sample of the Survey
The population of the Consumer Survey comprises approximately 4.4 million persons aged 15 to 84 and 2.6 million households in Finland. The population was extended to persons aged 75 to 84 starting from January 2012. The gross sample size of the Survey is monthly 2,350 persons (previously 2,200 persons).
In June, the non-response rate of the Survey was 39.8 per cent. The non-response rate includes those who refused from the survey or were otherwise prevented from participating as well as those who could not be contacted.
The extension of the population, that is, responses from persons aged 75 to 84, is estimated to have weakened the value of the consumer confidence indicator by good one unit starting from January 2012.
The (seasonally adjusted) Consumer Survey results for all EU countries are 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 2012, June. Statistics Finland
Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 09 1734 3598, Tara Junes 09 1734 3503, email@example.com
Director in charge: Riitta Harala
Publication in pdf-format (13 pages 460.6 kB)
Tables in databases