News 23 May 2019

Measuring of consumer confidence is renewed

The name of the Consumer Survey is changing in May: the new name of the statistics is Consumer Confidence. Consumer Confidence differs from the Consumer Survey in terms of the inquiry, lighter data content and the Consumer Confidence Indicator. The first Consumer Confidence statistics are published on 27 May 2019.

The Consumer Survey has been conducted since 1987 as telephone interviews. From May, the Consumer Confidence Survey will be conducted in addition to the telephone interviews with a web questionnaire filled by the respondent.

The monthly sample size is 2,200 persons aged 18 to 74 living in Finland. All the Consumer Confidence Survey questions will, in future, concern the respondent personally and no longer the respondent’s whole household.

The data content of the Consumer Confidence will, in future, focus on examining the consumers’ impressions, expectations and certain plans concerning the economy. The data content of the new statistics is more limited than before. For example, specific saving, investment and loan targets are no longer inquired," says Senior Statistician Pertti Kangassalo.

The new confidence indicator better anticipates private consumption

The calculation of the survey's most important result, the Consumer Confidence Indicator, also changes in May, because some of its components change. The change takes place on the European Commission's initiative. It is believed that the new confidence indicator anticipates the development of private consumption better than the present indicator.

"The new confidence indicator especially indicates the consumer’s views on his or her own economy and intentions to spend money on durable goods,” Kangassalo describes.

The components of the new confidence indicator are consumer's own economy now and in 12 months, Finland's economy in 12 months, and consumer's spending money on durable goods in the next 12 months compared to the past 12 months.

Methodological changes affect results and time series

"We know that the change in the data collection method affects the results. People are prone to give more negative answers on the web form than in telephone interview," says Kangassalo.

Statistics Finland has carried out a parallel data collection with the new method during spring, which has been utilised in level revisions of old data. The time series of the Consumer Confidence statistics is available on main indicators calculated with the new method starting from 2018.

Statistics Finland will later publish a report that will explain the effects of the new data collection method and the revision of the time series in more detail.

Further information: Senior Statistician Pertti Kangassalo +358 29 551 3598, Senior Statistician Tuomas Parikka +358 29 551 3276, consumer.confidence@stat.fi

More information about the revision

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