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Published: 28 August 2006

Consumer confidence unchanged in August

The consumer confidence indicator expressing consumers' economic sentiments was in August 14.4, i.e. the same as in July. Confidence in the economy was slightly stronger than in the corresponding time of the previous year and the long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,540 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 18 August.

In August, all four components of the consumer confidence indicator changed only slightly from the previous month. Caution relating to one's own and Finland's economy increased slightly. Consumers' expectations of their own economy were for the second month in a row weaker than one year ago and slightly fainter than on average since 1995. However, consumers still regarded their financial situation and saving possibilities as excellent. On the other hand, they considered the time clearly less favourable for taking out a loan and expected inflation to accelerate.

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

  August 2006 balance figure July 2006 balance figure August 2005 balance figure Average 10/95-8/06
Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 14.4 14.4 13.6 13.5
CCI components:        
Own economic situation in 12 months' time 8.2 9.1 11.8 9.3
Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months 46.6 45.3 47.2 33.0
General economic situation in Finland in 12 months' time -0.2 0.2 2.0 6.6
Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time 3.0 3.1 -6.5 5.2
Inflation in 12 months' time, % 2.8 2.4 2.2 2.0
Personal threat of unemployment at present 4.6 4.7 5.2 ..
Financial situation of household at present 32.3 30.8 32.5 25.2
Favourable time to make major purchases at present 23.1 29.0 27.3 20.9
Favourable time to save at present 20.3 22.3 13.9 6.6
Favourable time to raise a loan at present 16.2 24.8 35.3 23.2
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 August, 23 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 22 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. In all, 26 per cent of consumers believed in August that their own economy would improve and 12 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. A couple of months earlier, in June, the corresponding proportions were still 31 and 10 per cent.

Altogether 28 per cent of consumers thought in August that unemployment would increase over the year, and 35 per cent of them believed it would decrease. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were gloomy: 38 and 27 per cent. Just eight per cent of employed persons reckoned in August that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months whereas 13 per cent thought it had lessened.

Consumers predicted in August that consumer prices would go up by 2.8 per cent over the next 12 months. One month ago the respective predicted inflation rate was 2.4 per cent and one year ago 2.2 per cent.

In August 63 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. One month ago the respective proportion was 71 per cent and one year ago 76 per cent. In August 13 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year. Saving was considered worthwhile by 67 per cent of consumers. Sixty-six 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 August, 46 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Households had plenty of spending intentions on, for example, entertainment electronics and hobby and sports equipment. In the next twelve months, 19 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 9 per cent a dwelling.

Only every second household has a digital set-top box

The Consumer Survey also provides up-to-date information about the generality of various household appliances. For example, in early August 51 per cent of households in Finland had a digital set-top box. Twenty-six per cent of households were thinking of buying a set-top box in the next six months.

Consumer confidence indicator 10/1995-8/2006

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time 10/1995-8/2006

Consumer confidence indicator in EU Member States, July 2006
Deviation of indicator from country average 10/1995-7/2006*

*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, July 2006

Source: Consumer Survey 2006, August. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö


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Last updated 28.8.2006

Referencing instructions:

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