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Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, November

Published: 26 February 2016

Consumers' expectations concerning general economy dipped again

The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 7.7 in February, having been 8.2 in January and 2.4 in December. In last year’s February, the CCI received the value 10.6. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.6. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,223 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 17 February.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

The CCI consists of four components. Expectations concerning general economy, i.e. Finland’s economy and unemployment, weakened in February from January and the previous year. Especially the views on unemployment development were gloomy. Consumers' expectations concerning their own economy remained unchanged and subdued in February. By contrast, assessments concerning own saving possibilities improved and were very bright.

In February, consumers regarded the time fairly favourable for taking out a loan and a little also for buying durable goods but not for saving. In February, employed consumers felt personally more threatened by unemployment than usual, as was the case already in January and one year ago.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In February, 29 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while an equal share of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In January, the respective proportions were 37 and 25 per cent and twelve months ago in February 35 and 24 per cent.

In all, 25 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve, while 15 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 13 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 54 per cent of them believed it would increase. In January, the respective proportions were 15 and 48 per cent and twelve months ago 16 and 50 per cent.

Ten per cent of employed persons reckoned in February that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 21 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty-seven per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in February that consumer prices would go up by 1.4 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In February, 46 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Many households were planning on spending money on entertainment electronics and interior decoration. More households than usual, or 19 per cent of them, were fairly or very certain to buy a car, but only six per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Twenty-one per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Saving was considered worthwhile by 53 per cent of consumers in February. Sixty-seven per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 82 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. The long-term averages for households saving are 60 and 74 per cent.

In February, 63 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Twelve per cent of households considered raising a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In February, Greater Helsinki and Northern Finland had a brighter view of the economy than the rest of the country. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were clearly most optimistic. Pensioners and unemployed persons had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development in February.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 02/2015 01/2016 02/2016 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,6 22,9 -6,5 10,6 8,2 7,7 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,3 14,1 2,3 8,1 6,3 6,0 -
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,0 25,3 -27,1 4,5 3,7 -2,6 -
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 1,0 1,4 1,4  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -4,0 27,6 -51,1 -18,8 -18,7 -23,3 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,4 7,6 -18,8 -8,5 -5,2 -6,2 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 21,3 25,3 19,5 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,6 36,8 -19,6 0,5 3,4 4,5 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,0 42,0 -47,1 22,9 25,1 20,6 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,2 52,2 10,9 48,5 41,5 50,9 ++

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.

EU results

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 2016, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 26.2.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 9.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2016/02/kbar_2016_02_2016-02-26_tie_001_en.html