A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Consumer survey 2018, July

Review

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In January, 48 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while only seven per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In December, the corresponding proportions were 51 and 8 per cent and in last year's January 49 and 14 per cent.

In all, 29 per cent of consumers believed in January that their own economy would improve and only eight per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 30 and 11 per cent, and one year earlier 29 and 12 per cent.

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether, 50 per cent of consumers thought in January that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 14 per cent of them believed it would increase. The shares were 47 and 16 per cent in December and 41 and 22 per cent one year ago.

Seventeen per cent of employed persons reckoned in January that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 11 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty-seven per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

In January, consumers predicted that consumer prices would go up by 1.7 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In January, 50 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. The long-term average proportion is 45 per cent. Nineteen per cent of households were either very or fairly certain to buy a car during the next 12 months. Seven per cent of households considered purchasing a dwelling. In January, 19 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

In January, 70 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile. Twelve months ago, the respective proportion was 57 per cent. In January, 68 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. In January, households mainly planned on saving for a rainy day or for a holiday trip. Next to various bank accounts, the most planned investment targets were investment funds.

In January, 74 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. The long-term average proportion is 63 per cent. This January, 12 per cent of households were thinking of taking out a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In January, consumers' confidence in the economy was strongest in Greater Helsinki and weakest in Eastern Finland. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees and entrepreneurs were most optimistic. Pensioners and unemployed persons had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development.

EU results

The (seasonally adjusted) Consumer Survey results for all EU countries are released monthly on the European Commission website: Press releases .

Method of the Consumer Survey

The Consumer Survey is a telephone interview survey by means of which it is possible to measure Finns’ images - assessments and expectations - of the general economic development and the financial situation of one's own household, and intentions to make major purchases, save money or take out a loan. In addition, the survey is a tool for finding out how common modern equipment are in households. For the Consumer Survey, answers are given by means of answer options (qualitative survey).

The first Consumer Survey interviews were conducted in November 1987. Until 1991, the survey was carried out twice a year, in May and November. In 1992, the survey times increased to four: the survey months were February, May, August and November. Since October 1995, the Consumer Survey data have been collected monthly on assignment and partial financing of the European Commission .

Sampling and data collection

The population of the Consumer Survey comprises 4.5 million persons aged 15 to 84 and their 2.7 million households in Finland. A sample of 2,350 persons is drawn for the survey for every month. The same sample is also used for the data collection of the Finnish Travel Survey. The target area is the whole country and the respondents of the survey represent the population in Finland, according to age, gender, region of domicile and native language. The interviews are mainly conducted from Statistics Finland's Telephone Interview Centre (CATI), during the first two or three weeks of the month.

In January 2018, in all, 1,195 responses were gained, so the non-response rate of the survey was 49.1 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. Possible over-coverage is also included in non-response here.

Weighting

The response data of the Consumer Survey are expanded to the whole population with weighting coefficients. Weighting corrects the effects of non-response and improves the statistical accuracy of the data. The weights are established by using a calibration method (Calmar) and the probability of each observation to be included in the sample. The figures and series presented are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information, see Methodological description .


Source: Consumer Survey 2018, January. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 29.1.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. January 2018, Review . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.8.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2018/01/kbar_2018_01_2018-01-29_kat_001_en.html