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Latest publication: Consumer Confidence 2019, November

Published: 28 April 2014

Consumer confidence weakened in April

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 3.7 in April, having been 8.5 in March and 8.3 in February. Last year in April, the consumer confidence indicator received the value 6.4. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 12.1. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,311 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 16 April.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

In April, confidence in all four components of the consumer confidence indicator weakened slightly from the previous month, as well as from twelve months back. Consumers’ expectations concerning Finland’s and their own economy were subdued and views concerning unemployment were gloomy. Views on own saving possibilities fell to the long-term average level.

In April, consumers still thought that the time was more favourable for raising a loan than for saving or especially for buying durable goods. In April, employed consumers also felt some personal threat of unemployment.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In April, 28 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while slightly more, or 30 per cent, of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The respective proportions in March were 31 and 26 per cent.

In all, 22 per cent of consumers believed in April that their own economy would improve, while 15 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

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, 58 per cent of consumers thought in April that unemployment would increase over the year, and 12 per cent of them believed it would decrease. The corresponding proportions were 51 and 14 per cent in March and 51 and 17 per cent one year ago.

Twenty-two per cent of employed persons reckoned in April that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months and nine per cent thought it had lessened. Forty-eight per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 21 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in April that consumer prices would go up by 2.4 per cent over the next 12 months. Last year in April, the corresponding estimate was 3.2 per cent. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.3 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In April, 37 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Fewer households than usual, or 14 per cent of them, were fairly or very certain to buy a car and six per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Twenty-one per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Altogether, 52 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for saving in April. In all, 61 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 73 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 66 and 80 per cent. Households mostly save for a rainy day, to manage debts or for holiday making. After the popular fixed-term or investment accounts, the most common investment targets are investment funds and insurances.

In April, 56 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Fewer households than average, or 10 per cent of them, were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 04/2013 03/2014 04/2014 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,1 22,9 -6,5 6,4 8,5 3,7 --
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,5 14,1 2,3 5,6 5,5 4,2 --
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,5 25,3 -27,1 -1,6 1,0 -2,5 -
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,3 4,6 0,6 3,2 2,7 2,4  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -2,2 27,6 -51,1 -19,1 -20,5 -25,5 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -0,4 7,6 -18,8 -2,5 -5,9 -9,3 --
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,6 41,8 -14,2 0,4 2,7 1,9 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,3 36,8 -19,6 5,9 6,6 3,7 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,0 42,0 -47,1 14,8 12,6 10,6 -
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,7 52,2 10,9 40,9 48,2 38,7 =

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 April, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 44.2 per cent. 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; http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/db_indicators/surveys/index_en.htm


Source: Consumer Survey 2014, April. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 09 1734 3598, Tara Junes 09 1734 3503, consumer.survey@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 28.4.2014

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. April 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 11.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kbar/2014/04/kbar_2014_04_2014-04-28_tie_001_en.html