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Published: 27 February 2006

Consumer sentiments improved in February

Consumers' confidence in the economy strengthened in February. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 17.0 in February, while in January it was 13.7 and its long-term average was 13.5. Despite a couple of falls consumer confidence has had a strengthening trend since last summer. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey for which 1,537 persons resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 17 February.

All the four components of the confidence indicator improved in February compared with the previous month. Views on the development of unemployment were still cautious, however. Consumers considered the financial situation of their households very good in February. Households had more intentions to buy a dwelling than ever before.

Consumer views on the economic and financial conditions in Finland in February 2006

  February 2006 balance figure January 2006 balance figure February 2005 balance figure Average 10/95-2/06
Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 17.0 13.7 16.8 13.5
CCI components:        
Own economic situation in 12 months' time 12.5 10.1 13.9 9.2
Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months 48.1 41.7 47.3 32.3
General economic situation in Finland in 12 months' time 5.6 4.0 6.3 6.9
Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time 1.8 -1.0 -0.3 5.6
Inflation in 12 months' time, % 2.1 2.2 1.9 1.9
Personal threat of unemployment at present 4.3 3.8 4.2 ..
Financial situation of household at present 34.7 31.4 31.8 24.9
Favourable time to make major purchases at present 24.9 31.1 30.1 20.8
Favourable time to save at present 17.9 12.7 14.7 5.8
Favourable time to raise a loan at present 27.1 26.0 34.1 23.1
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 four questions concerning the next 12 months: own and Finland's economy, unemployment and household's saving possibilities. The balance figures and the confidence indicator can range between -100 and 100. A positive balance figure denotes an optimistic and a negative balance figure a pessimistic view on the economy.

In February, 28 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months. Sixteen per cent of consumers thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. In all, 31 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve and only 9 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Altogether 31 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would increase over the year, and 36 per cent of them believed it would decrease. The corresponding proportions were 33 and 32 per cent in January. Twelve per cent of employed persons reckoned in February that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months but more of them, i.e. 16 per cent thought it had lessened.

Consumers predicted in February that consumer prices would go up by 2.1 per cent over the next 12 months.

In February 72 per cent of consumers thought the time was good for raising a loan, and 15 per cent of households were planning to do so in the next 12 months. Saving was considered worthwhile by 65 per cent of consumers in February. As many as 69 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 80 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In February, 46 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. This proportion was 51 per cent one year ago. Households still had plenty of spending intentions on entertainment electronics and purchasing of leisure equipment or vehicles. In the next 12 months 18 per cent of households were either fairly or very certain to buy a car and 11 per cent a dwelling. In last year's February fewer than this, i.e. 7 per cent of households were contemplating buying a dwelling.

Data on households' ownership of home electronics are also available from the Consumer Survey. For example, 44 per cent of households had a digital set-top box and 51 per cent broadband internet in February.

Consumer confidence indicator 10/1995-2/2006

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time 10/1995-2/2006

Consumer confidence indicator in EU Member States, January 2006
Deviation of indicator from country average 10/1995-1/2006*

*Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Data for France are indicative due to break in time series.
Averages for a shorter time period: Malta 11/2002 -, Luxembourg 1/2002 -, Cyprus, Lithuania and Poland 1/2001 -, Slovakia 4/1999 -.
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, January 2006.

Source: Consumer Survey 2006, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö


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Last updated 27.2.2006

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2006. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.4.2024].
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