Consumer confidence still very low in February 2023release | Consumer confidence 2023, February
According to Statistics Finland, the balance figure of the consumer confidence indicator stood at -11.9 in February, having been -12.7 in January and -18.5 in December. Last year in February, the consumer confidence indicator (CCI) received the value 0.5. The long-term average for the CCI is -2.1. The data are based on the Consumer Confidence Survey, to which 1,008 persons resident in Finland responded between 1 and 16 February.
- Views on the economy improved slightly in February compared to January. Compared to one year ago, the views were still clearly worse.
- Consumers’ assessments of their own economy at present and expectations concerning one’s own and especially Finland’s economy in 12 months’ time still remained at a very weak level.
- Plans to spend money on durable goods remained almost unchanged and very scant. The time was considered very unfavourable for making purchases. Intentions to buy a car and dwelling were lower than usual.
- Estimates concerning inflation at the time of the survey rose again to its record level. Expectations concerning inflation in 12 months’ time remained almost unchanged at a lower level.
- Consumers’ own financial situation was again considered to be good and the threat of unemployment to be normal.
Consumer confidence in areas of residence and population groups
In February, consumer confidence in the economy was exceptionally strongest in Eastern Finland (CCI -3.1). Confidence was weakest in Northern Finland (-17.8). Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were most optimistic (-4.7). Unemployed persons had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development (-17.9) in February. More detailed information is available in the figures and database tables.
Consumers' own and Finland's economy
In February, consumers’ views on the economy improved slightly compared to January. Despite this, the assessment of the present situation and expectations concerning one's own economy and especially Finland's economy were still very weak. Compared to one year ago in February, the views on the economy were now clearly worse.
Thirty-three per cent of consumers thought in February that their own economy is weaker than one year ago. Only 22 per cent of consumers regarded their own economy stronger at the time of the survey than one year ago. As many as 80 per cent of consumers thought that Finland's economy is now worse than a year ago, and only five per cent felt that it is better.
In February, 19 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months. Nearly one half, or 45 per cent of consumers, thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In all, 26 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve and 19 per cent feared it would worsen over the year.
Unemployment and its threat
Consumers' expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation in Finland remained on the long-term average level in February. Only 15 per cent of consumers expected that unemployment would decrease over the next year, while 39 per cent thought that unemployment would increase.
In February, employed consumers (wage and salary earners and self-employed persons) felt that the personal threat of unemployment or temporary lay-off was similar to the long-term average. Six per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 15 per cent thought the risk had grown. Exactly one half, or 50 per cent, of employed persons felt in February that they were not threatened by unemployment or temporary lay-off at all.
In February, consumers’ estimates concerning inflation at the time of the survey rose again to its record level. Expectations concerning price changes in 12 months’ time remained almost unchanged at a lower level.
In February, consumers estimated that consumer prices have risen by 8.6 per cent from last year’s February and will go up by 5.2 per cent over the next year. As many as 92 per cent of consumers thought prices had risen much or fairly much over the year, but only 36 per cent expected prices to rise at least at the same rate over the coming months as well.
Financial situation, saving and raising a loan
As in the past months, the time was considered very poor for raising a loan and also for saving in February. Only 10 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan and 36 per cent thought the time was favourable for saving. At the same time, intentions to take out a loan were on a very low level. In February, only 13 per cent of consumers were planning to take out a loan within one year.
In February, consumers again considered their own financial situation to be good. Consumers expected their saving possibilities to be on their usual level in the coming months. In February, 58 per cent of consumers had been able to lay aside some money and 74 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.
Spending and intentions to make large purchases
In February, the time was still considered very unfavourable for buying durable goods. Only nine per cent of consumers considered the time favourable for expensive purchases.
In February, consumers still had very scant intentions to spend money on durable goods during the next 12 months. Intentions to purchase subsided particularly compared to one year ago. In February, only eight per cent of consumers planned on increasing and nearly one half, or 47 per cent, on reducing their spending on durable goods over the next 12 months.
Buying a car during the next 12 months was in February considered to a lesser extent than normal in the long-term. The same applied to buying a dwelling and also to renovating one’s home.
In February, 13 per cent of consumers were either definitely or possibly going to buy a car during the next 12 months. Only 11 per cent of consumers considered buying a dwelling or building a house. Fifteen per cent of consumers were planning to spend money on renovating their home during the next 12 months.
Data set for the statistics
The Consumer Confidence Survey is carried out with a web questionnaire and by telephone interviews. Answers are mainly given by means of answer options (qualitative survey). In February 2023, a total of 1,008 persons participated in the Survey and the response rate was 46.4 per cent. Of the responses, 81 per cent came from the web questionnaire (of the sample the share was 38%).
The (seasonally adjusted) survey results concerning economic expectations for all EU countries are released monthly on the European Commission website.
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