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Published: 29 September 2008

Consumer confidence unchanged in September

Consumers' confidence in the economy remained almost unchanged from the previous month in September. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 8.1 in September, having been 8.7 in August and 6.5 in July. Compared to one year ago and the long-term average, confidence in the economy was still clearly weaker. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,546 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 19 September.

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, only expectations concerning the development of unemployment weakened from the previous month in September. Respondents' views about own economic situation in the coming months brightened slightly. In addition, consumers continued to regard their own financial situation and saving possibilities as excellent. By contrast, pessimistic views about Finland's economic situation persisted. September was not regarded a favourable time for making major purchases or for raising a loan, in particular. Consumers predicted lower inflation rate for the next 12 months in September than in August.

Consumer views on the economic and financial conditions in Finland in September 2008, balances*

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 13.7 21.8 3.5 18.5 8.7 8.1 - -
CCI components:              
Own economic situation
in 12 months' time
9.4 14.1 2.3 10.2 3.2 6.3 - -
Households' saving possibilities
in the next 12 months
35.5 52.0 10.9 51.4 50.5 50.7 ++
Finland's economic situation
in 12 months time
4.8 21.7 -20.8 -3.5 -16.0 -16.8 - -
Finland's unemployment situation
in 12 months time
5.3 27.6 -22.7 15.7 -2.9 -8.0 -
in 12 months' time, per cent
2.1 4.6 0.7 3.1 3.9 3.5  
Own threat of unemployment
at present
4.4 7.6 0.8 5.3 3.0 2.3 - -
Financial situation of household
at present
26.3 35.1 14.7 32.7 31.9 34.1 ++
Favourable time to make major purchases
at present
20.3 37.7 -2.7 12.3 -1.9 -2.7 - -
Favourable time to save
at present
10.6 36.8 -19.6 34.5 29.0 30.5 ++
Favourable time to raise a loan
at present
19.4 42.0 -28.1 -6.2 -27.7 -25.7 - -
* 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 the CCI components. The balance figures and the confidence indicator can range between -100 and 100 - the higher the balance figure the brighter the view on the economy.
** ++ Situation is very good, + Situation is good, - Situation is bad, - - Situation is very bad. Deviation of balance from average has been compared to standard deviation.

Only 14 per cent of consumers believed in September that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 44 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. Twelve months earlier the corresponding proportions were 21 and 27 per cent. In September, 26 per cent of consumers believed that their own economy would improve and 14 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. The corresponding proportions were 22 and 17 per cent in August and 29 and 11 per cent one year ago.

Altogether 25 per cent of consumers expected in September that unemployment would decrease over the year, while more of them, or 39 per cent, believed it would increase. The corresponding proportions were 28 and 32 per cent in August and 48 and 16 per cent one year ago. In September, 12 per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had decreased over the past few months, but as many already thought it had grown. Forty-four per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 30 per cent felt that they were not personally threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in September that consumer prices would go up by 3.5 per cent over the next 12 months. As recently as in June the respective figure was still 4.6 per cent. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.1 per cent.

In September, 74 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile. Sixty-eight per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 82 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. Only 27 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for raising a loan in September. Twelve months ago the respective proportion was 44 per cent. However, nearly as many households as one year earlier, or 12 per cent, had plans in September to take out a loan within one year.

Only 34 per cent of consumers thought in September that the time was favourable for making major purchases. Twelve months ago the respective proportion was 40 per cent. Households' intentions to spend money were indeed moderate in September, but they still had plans to, for instance, travel and make home improvements during the next six months. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 9 per cent - or more than one year ago - a dwelling in the next twelve months.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 10/1995-9/2008

Consumers' micro and macro indicators 10/1995-9/2008*

* Micro indicator is the average of three balances: own economy and household's saving possibilities in 12 months' time, and
household's financial situation at present.
Macro indicator is the average of two balances: Finland's economy and unemployment in 12 months' time.

Deviation of CCI from country average in EU member states, August 2008

* Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Average 10/1995-
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, August 2008

Source: Consumer Survey 2008, September. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö


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Last updated 29.9.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. September 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.12.2023].
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