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Published: 27 May 2016

Consumer confidence strongest in a year

Consumers’ confidence in the economy improved in May. In May the consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 12.5, while in April it was 9.8 and in March 10.4. In last year’s May the CCI received the value 15.5. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.6. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,227 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 19 May.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumers’ expectations concerning Finland’s economy and unemployment, as well as their own saving possibilities improved in May compared to April. In contrast, views on one’s own economy weakened slightly. In May, consumers’ views on their own saving possibilities and Finland’s economy were bright, their views on their own economy were cautious and on unemployment still fairly gloomy.

In May, consumers regarded the time favourable for taking out a loan and a little also for buying durable goods but not for saving. In May, the personal threat of unemployment experienced by employed consumers decreased to the long-term average level.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In May, 39 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 22 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In April, the respective proportions were 35 and 24 per cent and twelve months ago in May 42 and 17 per cent.

In all, 26 per cent of consumers believed in May that their own economy would improve and 14 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. In April, these proportions were 28 and 15 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, 23 per cent of consumers thought in May that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 38 per cent of them believed it would increase. The corresponding proportions were 19 and 46 per cent one month ago and 26 and 36 per cent one year ago.

Thirteen per cent of employed persons reckoned in May that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 20 per cent thought it had grown. 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 1.3 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In May, 45 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Households had more plans to acquire hobby and sports equipment than before. Fifteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and eight per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In May, 21 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 48 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 78 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In May, 70 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Fewer households than normal, or 11 per cent of them, were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumer confidence by major region and population group

In May, consumers’ confidence in the economy was weaker than in the rest of country in rural areas of Southern Finland and in Eastern Finland. Among population groups, entrepreneurs and upper-level salaried employees were most optimistic. Pensioners and unemployed persons had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 05/2015 04/2016 05/2016 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,6 22,9 -6,5 15,5 9,8 12,5 =
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,3 14,1 2,3 8,4 8,4 6,6 -
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,0 25,3 -27,1 11,9 4,4 7,0 +
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 1,2 1,3 1,3  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -4,1 27,6 -51,1 -6,6 -15,4 -9,4 -
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,4 7,6 -18,8 -8,7 -2,7 -1,9 =
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 16,1 19,9 18,7 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,5 36,8 -19,6 2,9 0,6 -0,7 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,1 42,0 -47,1 26,8 28,2 28,9 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,3 52,2 10,9 48,1 41,9 45,8 +

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;

Source: Consumer Survey 2016, May. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, Tara Junes 029 551 3322,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 27.5.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. May 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.4.2024].
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