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Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2022, March

1. Examination of answer distributions

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

Forty-two per cent of consumers estimated in March that Finland's economy was now worse than a year ago and only eight per cent of consumers felt that it was better. One month earlier, the respective proportions were 35 and 11 per cent. Nineteen per cent of consumers thought in March that their own economy is at the moment worse than one year ago. However, more consumers or 27 per cent considered their own economy stronger than before. One month earlier, the respective proportions were 19 and 24 per cent.

In March, only 11 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while as many as 52 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The respective proportions in February were 14 and 37 per cent.

In March, 30 per cent of consumers believed that their own economy would improve and 14 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. The respective proportions in February were 25 and 13 per cent.

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 16 per cent of consumers thought in March that general unemployment would decrease over the year, while as many as 47 per cent of them believed it would increase. The respective proportions in February were 26 and 33 per cent.

In March, 43 per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all. Eight per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 21 per cent thought it had grown. One month ago, the latter two proportions were 6 and 16 per cent.

Consumers predicted in March that consumer prices would go up by 2.3 per cent over the next 12 months. One month earlier the predicted inflation rate was still 2.7 per cent, and its long-term average is 3.0 per cent.

Saving and taking out a loan

In March, 61 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for saving. Sixty-three 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 March, 59 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for taking out a loan. More consumers than ever, or 21 per cent of them, were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Buying of durable goods

Twenty-seven per cent of consumers considered the time favourable for buying durable goods in March. Fourteen per cent of consumers planned on increasing and 36 per cent on reducing their spending on durable goods over the next 12 months. These two proportions were 15 and 32 per cent in February.

In March, 14 per cent of consumers were either definitely or possibly going to buy a car during the next 12 months. More consumers than usual or 14 per cent were also contemplating buying a dwelling. Twenty-two per cent of consumers were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Method of the Consumer Confidence Survey

The Consumer Confidence Survey measures Finnish consumers’ confidence in the economy, that is, views and expectations about the development of their own and Finland’s general economic situation. The survey also examines consumers' intentions of making major purchases, saving and raising loans. The survey is carried out with a mixed-mode data collection method, i.e. with a web questionnaire and by telephone interviews (CATI). For the Consumer Confidence Survey, answers are given by means of answer options (qualitative survey).

The former name of the Consumer Confidence Survey was the Consumer Survey. Earlier the survey was carried out by means of telephone interviews only. The first interviews were conducted in November 1987. Until 1991, the survey was carried out twice a year, in May and November. In 1992, the survey times increased to four: the survey months were February, May, August and November. Since October 1995, the consumer confidence data have been collected monthly on assignment from and partial financing of the European Commission .

Sampling and data collection

The population of the Consumer Confidence Survey comprises 4.0 million persons aged 18 to 74 in Finland. The rotating panel design is used in the survey: everybody answers twice within six months. Each month, the target is a random sample of about 2,200 persons, of whom one half are included in the first round and one half in the second round. The target area of the survey is the whole country and the respondents represent the population in Finland, according to age, gender, area of residence and native language. The data collection period for the survey is the first two or three weeks of the month.

In March 2020, in all, 1,053 responses were gained. Of responses, 73 per cent came from the web questionnaire. The non-response rate of the survey was 51.8 per cent. This includes those who refused from the survey or were otherwise prevented from participating, as well as those who could not be contacted. Possible over-coverage (dead, inmates of institutions, moved abroad, etc.) is also included in non-response here.

Weighting

The response data of the Consumer Confidence Survey are expanded to the whole population with weighting coefficients. Weighting corrects the effects of non-response and improves the statistical accuracy of the data. The weights are established by using a calibration method (Calmar) and the probability of each observation to be included in the sample. The figures and series presented are not seasonally adjusted.


Source: Consumer Confidence 2020, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, Tuomas Parikka 029 551 3276, consumer.confidence@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 27.3.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. March 2020, 1. Examination of answer distributions . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.5.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2020/03/kbar_2020_03_2020-03-27_kat_001_en.html