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Published: 27 February 2017

Consumer confidence good - purchasing intentions are moderate, however

Consumers’ confidence in the economy remained unchanged and strong. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 20.8 in February, having been 21.0 in January and 19.5 in December. In last year’s February, the consumer confidence indicator received the value 7.7. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 11.8. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,270 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 16 February.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

All the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, that is, expectations of one’s own and Finland’s economy, general unemployment and the household’s saving possibilities, remained roughly unchanged in February compared with January. Compared with the corresponding period last year, all the components of the indicator apart from saving possibilities improved clearly.

In February, 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. Consumers considered their household's saving possibilities good over the next 12 months.

In February, consumers regarded the time favourable for taking out a loan, but not so much for saving or buying durable goods. In February, employed consumers felt personally less threatened by unemployment than usual.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In February, 47 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. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were 29 and 29 per cent in February.

In all, 29 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve while 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One year ago the respective proportions were 25 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 39 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 21 per cent of them believed it would increase. Twelve months previously, these proportions were still gloomy at 13 and 54 per cent.

Fifteen per cent of employed persons reckoned in February that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 17 per cent thought it had grown. Twenty-seven per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in February that consumer prices would go up by 1.6 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 1.0 per cent. In February 2016, the estimate was clearly lower, 0.3 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In February, 42 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. In January, the respective proportion was still 49 per cent and the long-term average is 45 per cent. General intentions to spend money were moderate in February. Fewer households than usual, or fifteen per cent were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In February, 18 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Saving was considered worthwhile by 59 per cent of consumers in February. In all, 65 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 February, 71 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 February, consumers' confidence in the economy was strongest in Northern Finland and Greater Helsinki and weakest in Eastern Finland. Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were most optimistic. The unemployed had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 02/2016 01/2017 02/2017 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11.8 22.9 -6.5 7.7 21.0 20.8 ++
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8.3 14.1 2.3 6.0 9.4 10.2 +
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3.4 25.3 -27.1 -2.6 17.3 16.8 ++
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2.2 4.6 0.6 1.4 1.7 1.6  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3.9 27.6 -51.1 -23.3 9.7 9.2 +
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1.4 7.6 -18.8 -6.2 2.1 1.3 +
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18.4 41.8 -14.2 19.5 25.2 16.2 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10.4 36.8 -19.6 4.5 10.4 11.3 =
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17.5 42.0 -47.1 20.6 31.2 29.1 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39.5 52.2 10.9 50.9 47.7 46.9 +

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, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (433.3 kB)


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Updated 27.2.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 24.9.2023].
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