Description of the data collection
The Consumer Survey is a telephone interview survey, which 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 households' intentions of making major purchases, saving and raising loans.
The first Consumer Survey was conducted in November 1987. From October 1995, harmonised Consumer Survey data have been collected monthly on assignment of the European Commission, which also participates in the funding of the survey.
NB Data collection in the present form will end in April 2019. From that point, a mixed-mode data collection (web questionnaire + telephone interview) and the panel design will be in use.
From whom are data collected?
The Survey sample comprises 2,350 persons and changes completely each month. The same sample is also used for the data collection of the Finnish Travel Survey. The target area is the whole country and the respondents of the Consumer Survey represent the population aged 15 to 84 in Finland according to age, gender, area of residence and native language.
Participation in the Consumer Survey is voluntary. It is, however, important to include the answers from as many persons as possible selected to the sample to represent all Finnish households in order for the survey to be successful.
An accompanying letter containing information about the Consumer Survey is sent to all target persons in advance. Text messages and email can also be sent. The interviews are conducted from Statistics Finland's telephone interview centre or all over Finland by statistical interviewers.
The Statistics Act (280/2004) obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential. In the statistics to be published, the data are reported in statistical form so that individual answers are protected.
What are the data used for?
The data of the Consumer Survey are used for anticipating economic development and consumption. The results of the Consumer Survey strongly correlate with changes in private consumption, gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment and inflation. The direct questions on plans of making purchases, saving or raising a loan are also a good indication of how households' decisions are carried through.
Consumers’ views and plans are interesting not only to the European Union and the European Central Bank but also particularly to the media, economic policy decision-makers, economists at financial and research institutions, and market analysts in the fields of business and trade.
The monthly results are completed good one week after the interviews have finished at the end of the survey month.
From 2012 onwards, the sample of the consumer survey has been extended to include persons aged between 75 and 84.
The use of the mixed-mode collection method (web questionnaire + telephone interview) was tested in 2011 to 2012.
The mixed-mode collection and simultaneously the panel design are launched in May 2019. The basic group is changed into those aged 18 to 74. At the same time, the new name of the survey will be Consumer Confidence and the collection name the Consumer Confidence Survey.
How often are data collected?