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Published: 27 April 2011

Consumer confidence unchanged in April

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 17.8 in April, having been 17.7 in March and 20.0 in February. This April, confidence in the economy was at the same level as one year earlier, but above the long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey for which 1,424 persons resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 15 April.

Consumer confidence indicator

Consumer confidence indicator

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, only expectations concerning general development of unemployment improved in April from the month before. Opinions about the other components remained unchanged or deteriorated slightly. Views concerning own saving possibilities and Finland’s economy were still bright. By contrast, consumers' assessments about their own economy were below the long-term average in April, even though they felt little threat of unemployment. Consumers thought in April that prices would be rising fast and considered saving worthwhile.

In April, 36 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 19 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In April last year, the respective proportions were 57 and 11 per cent. In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in April that their own economy would improve while 12 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. Twelve months earlier these proportions were 27 and 9 per cent.

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

Altogether 35 per cent of consumers thought in April that unemployment would decrease in Finland over the year, while 23 per cent of them believed it would increase. The corresponding proportions were 32 and 29 per cent in March and gloomy 26 and 39 per cent one year ago.

Eighteen per cent of employed persons believed in April that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 11 per cent thought it had grown. Twelve months previously, these proportions were also gloomy at 16 and 17 per cent. In April, 49 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 21 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in April that consumer prices would go up by 3.3 per cent over the next 12 months. In April last year, the predicted inflation rate was 2.3 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.1 per cent.

Altogether 63 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for saving in April. One year earlier, slightly fewer, or 59 per cent, of them thought so. Sixty-eight per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 80 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 April, 61 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. One year earlier, the corresponding proportion was 70 per cent. In April, 13 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

In April, 45 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Twelve months ago, the respective proportion was higher, or 55 per cent. Nevertheless, many households were planning in April to spend money on, for instance, travel and home renovations or to buy hobby equipment and domestic appliances during the next six months. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 9 per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In April last year, the respective proportions were the same 17 and 9 per cent.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 04/2010 03/2011 04/2011 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 13,3 22,9 -6,5 17,9 17,7 17,8 +
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 9,1 14,1 2,3 10,2 9,0 8,2 -
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 37,4 52,2 10,9 45,2 52,0 49,0 +
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 5,4 25,3 -27,1 24,2 9,0 8,3 +
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) 1,5 27,6 -51,1 -7,9 0,8 5,9 +
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) 0,9 7,6 -18,8 0,9 5,7 6,0 +
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,1 4,6 0,6 2,3 3,3 3,3  
C1 Favourability of time for buying durable goods (balance) 21,2 41,8 -14,2 31,9 11,9 20,1 +/-
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,3 36,8 -19,6 12,8 18,8 16,7 +
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 18,5 42,0 -47,1 27,0 12,4 13,3 -

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;

Source: Consumer Survey 2011, April. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo (09) 1734 3598, Pellervo Marja-aho (09) 1734 3349,

Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö

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Updated 27.4.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. April 2011. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.12.2023].
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