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Published: 27 May 2015

Consumer confidence strongest in four years

Consumers’ confidence in the economy improved further in May. In May the consumer confidence indicator stood at 15.5, while in April it was 11.4 and in March 11.2. Confidence in the economy has last been this strong in the spring of 2011. In last year’s May the consumer confidence indicator received the value 8.7. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 11.9. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,315 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 4 and 19 May.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, views concerning Finland’s economy, general unemployment development and households' saving possibilities improved in May compared to April. In contrast, views on one’s own economy weakened slightly. Despite the improvement, consumers’ views on unemployment were still relatively gloomy, while views concerning Finland’s economy were the brightest in May since February 2011.

In May, consumers regarded the time more favourable for raising a loan than for buying durable goods or, in particular, saving. In May, employed consumers felt personally more threatened by unemployment than in April.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In May, 42 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 17 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In April, the respective proportions were 33 and 21 per cent and twelve months ago in May 34 and 24 per cent.

In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in May that their own economy would improve and 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. Twelve months earlier the corresponding proportions were 22 and 14 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

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 36 per cent of consumers thought in May that unemployment would increase over the year, and 26 per cent of them believed it would decrease. In April, the respective proportions were 42 and 20 per cent and twelve months ago 47 and 18 per cent.

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

Consumers estimated in May that consumer prices would go up by 1.2 per cent over the next 12 months. In May 2014, the predicted inflation rate was 2.6 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In May, 47 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and only six per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Nineteen per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

A total of 52 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in May. In all, 64 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.

In May, 69 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Nevertheless, only 12 per cent of households were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 05/2014 04/2015 05/2015 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,9 22,9 -6,5 8,7 11,4 15,5 +
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,4 14,1 2,3 4,3 10,7 8,4 =
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,2 25,3 -27,1 3,6 5,0 11,9 +
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 2,6 1,2 1,2  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3,3 27,6 -51,1 -16,5 -12,5 -6,6 =
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,1 7,6 -18,8 -8,2 -2,8 -8,7 --
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 4,6 18,6 16,1 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,8 36,8 -19,6 6,1 -0,1 2,9 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 16,9 42,0 -47,1 8,4 26,1 26,8 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,0 52,2 10,9 43,5 42,2 48,1 +

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 4.4 million persons aged 15 to 84 and their 2.6 million households in Finland. The population was extended to persons aged 75 to 84 starting from January 2012. The gross size of the monthly sample of the Survey is 2,350 persons (previously 2,200 persons).

In May, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 43.8 per cent (sample size 2,341 persons in May). 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. This has primarily been caused by a drop in the balance figure of one component, namely own household's saving possibilities. The extension of the population has also somewhat affected the results on owning various home technology.

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;

Source: Consumer Survey 2015, May. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.5.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. May 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.2.2024].
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