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Published: 27 September 2006

Consumers confident in September

Consumers' confidence in the economy gained strength in September. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 16.1 in September, having been 14.4 in August and 10.8 twelve months ago. At the same time, the strength of confidence in the economy was above its long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,538 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 19 September.

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator expectations of one's own and Finland's economy and especially of unemployment improved in September from the previous month. Confidence in positive development of employment has not been this strong since the beginning of 2001. Despite a slight weakening, consumers continued to be very confident about their own household's saving possibilities in September. Saving was considered more worthwhile than ever and views about taking out a loan also brightened from one month ago.

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

  September 2006
balance figure
August 2006 balance figure September 2005
balance figure
Average 10/95-9/06
Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 16.1 14.4 10.8 13.5
CCI components:        
Own economic situation in 12 months' time 10.2 8.2 9.3 9.3
Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months 44.6 46.6 44.1 33.1
General economic situation in Finland in 12 months' time 1.2 -0.2 -2.3 6.6
Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time 8.5 3.0 -7.8 5.3
Inflation in 12 months' time. % 2.6 2.8 2.6 2.0
Personal threat of unemployment at present 5.6 4.6 3.3 ..
Financial situation of household at present 30.4 32.3 27.8 25.2
Favourable time to make major purchases at present 23.9 23.1 19.6 21.0
Favourable time to save at present 25.1 20.3 12.5 6.7
Favourable time to raise a loan at present 20.5 16.2 33.0 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 September, 24 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 21 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. In all, 29 per cent of consumers believed in September that their own economy would improve and only 11 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Altogether 22 per cent of consumers thought in September that unemployment would increase over the year, and 40 per cent of them believed it would decrease. The corresponding proportions were 28 and 35 per cent in August and 41 and 28 per cent one year ago. Just 10 per cent of employed persons reckoned in September that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months whereas 15 per cent thought it had lessened.

Consumers predicted in September that consumer prices would go up by 2.6 per cent over the next 12 months. In August the respective predicted inflation rate was 2.8 per cent.

In September, 67 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. One month earlier the corresponding proportion was 63 per cent. In September 15 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year. Saving was considered worthwhile by a record 71 per cent of consumers. Sixty-three per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 78 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In September, 44 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Households had plenty of plans to spend money on, for example, entertainment electronics, home furnishings and travel. Thirty per cent of households were thinking of buying a digital set-top box in the next six months. In the next twelve months, 18 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 8 per cent a dwelling.

Consumer confidence indicator 10/1995-9/2006

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time 10/1995-9/2006

Consumer confidence indicator in EU Member States, August 2006
Deviation of indicator from country average 10/1995-8/2006*

*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, May 2006

Source: Consumer Survey 2006, September. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö


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Last updated 27.9.2006

Referencing instructions:

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