Published: 27 January 2017

Consumer confidence strengthened further in January

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 21.0 in January, having been 19.5 in December and 17.6 in November. Confidence in the economy was last this strong more than six years ago in autumn 2010. Last year in January, the consumer confidence indicator received the value 8.2. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 11.8. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,217 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 19 January.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator expectations of one’s own and Finland’s economy and of the general development of unemployment improved in January from the previous month. Assessments of the household’s saving possibilities remained unchanged. Compared with the corresponding period last year, all the components improved clearly in January.

In January, consumers’ views were very positive about Finland's economy and the assessment of unemployment development was also optimistic. Likewise, expectations concerning consumers' own economy were positive once again. Consumers considered their household's saving possibilities good over the next 12 months.

In January, consumers regarded the time favourable for buying durable goods and especially for taking out a loan but not so much for saving. Employed consumers felt that their threat of unemployment decreased clearly in January.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In January, 49 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 14 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding proportions were 45 and 15 per cent in December and 37 and 25 per cent one year ago in January.

In all, 29 per cent of consumers believed in January that their own economy would improve and 12 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 27 and 13 per cent, and one year earlier 24 and 13 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, 41 per cent of consumers thought in January that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 22 per cent of them believed it would increase. In December, the respective proportions were 37 and 23 per cent and twelve months ago gloomy at 15 and 48 per cent.

Fourteen per cent of employed persons reckoned in January that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 13 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty-five 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. Consumers estimated that inflation is currently 1.3 per cent. In January 2016, the estimate was clearly lower, 0.5 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In January, 49 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. General intentions to spend money were still moderate. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In January, 18 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

In January, 57 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile. In all, 68 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 79 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. In the long term, the average share of households that have saved or think they will be able to save is 60 and 74 per cent, respectively. 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, 73 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. The long-term average proportion is 62 per cent. However, fewer households than normal, or 12 per cent of them, were planning to raise 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 Northern Finland. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees and entrepreneurs were most optimistic. Unemployed persons had the least positive expectations concerning economic development.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 01/2016 12/2016 01/2017 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11.8 22.9 -6.5 8.2 19.5 21.0 ++
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8.3 14.1 2.3 6.3 8.4 9.4 +
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3.3 25.3 -27.1 3.7 14.9 17.3 ++
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2.2 4.6 0.6 1.4 1.6 1.7  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -4.0 27.6 -51.1 -18.7 6.3 9.7 +
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1.4 7.6 -18.8 -5.2 -0.8 2.1 +
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18.4 41.8 -14.2 25.3 21.1 25.2 +
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10.3 36.8 -19.6 3.4 4.0 10.4 =
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17.5 42.0 -47.1 25.1 27.7 31.2 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39.5 52.2 10.9 41.5 48.5 47.7 +

The balance figures are obtained by deducting the weighted proportion of negative answers from that of positive answers. The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 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 2017, January. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 27.1.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1382. January 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.2.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2017/01/kbar_2017_01_2017-01-27_tie_001_en.html

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