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Published: 26 February 2009

Consumer confidence unchanged in February

Consumers' confidence in the economy remained weak in February. Consumer confidence indicator was the same in February as one month previously, i.e. -3.9. Confidence in the economy has been negative since October 2008 and before that during the recession years of the early 1990s. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,478 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 18 February.

Consumers' confidence in all four components of the consumer confidence stayed nearly unchanged from the previous month in February. Views of Finland's economy and unemployment were bleak. In addition, fear of personal unemployment continued to increase in February. However, consumers continued to assess their saving possibilities as good, and some optimism was expressed in respect of consumers' own economic situation. Consumers' estimates of the favourability of the time for taking out a loan improved in February at the expense of saving, and the predicted average inflation rate was also lower than previously.

Consumer views on the economic and financial conditions in Finland in February 2009, balances*

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 13.2 21.8 -6.5 10.1 -3.9 -3.9 - -
CCI components:              
Own economic situation
in 12 months' time
9.2 14.1 2.3 9.6 3.5 3.0 - -
Households' saving possibilities
in the next 12 months
35.8 52.0 10.9 49.2 44.7 45.1 +
Finland's economic situation
in 12 months time
4.0 21.7 -27.1 -11.4 -17.0 -14.4 - -
Finland's unemployment situation
in 12 months time
3.8 27.6 -51.1 -6.8 -46.7 -49.4 - -
in 12 months' time, per cent
2.1 4.6 0.7 3.7 2.0 1.8  
Own threat of unemployment
at present
3.3 7.6 -14.6 5.2 -11.9 -14.6 - -
Financial situation of household
at present
26.5 35.1 14.7 33.7 30.5 30.9 +
Favourable time to make major purchases
at present
19.8 37.7 -14.2 25.3 31.0 28.6 +
Favourable time to save
at present
10.9 36.8 -19.6 33.0 15.3 6.7 -
Favourable time to raise a loan
at present
18.1 42.0 -47.1 -0.1 -1.0 2.3 -
* 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.

In February, 26 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 46 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. In January the respective proportions were 22 and 48 per cent and twelve months ago 15 and 36 per cent. In all 21 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve while 15 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One year ago the corresponding proportions were 29 and 13 per cent.

Only 7 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 80 per cent of them believed it would increase. Twelve months earlier the respective proportions were 29 and 39 per cent. Just 7 per cent of employed persons believed in February that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 28 per cent thought it had grown. In January the respective proportions were 8 and 26 per cent and twelve months ago 13 and 10 per cent. In February 39 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 26 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in February that consumer prices would go up by 1.8 per cent over the next 12 months. The respective figure was 2.0 per cent in January, while at its highest in June 2008 it stood at 4.6 per cent. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.1 per cent.

Saving was considered worthwhile by 54 per cent of consumers in February. One month previously that view was held by 61 per cent and one year ago by 78 per cent of consumers. Sixty-five 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 year. In February 51 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. At its lowest in October the proportion was only 13 per cent. In February clearly more households than before, or 15 per cent of them, were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Fifty-five per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. At its lowest in October the respective proportion stood at 30 per cent. In February many households had plans to purchase, among other things, hobby equipment and to travel during the next six months. In the next twelve months, 15 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 9 per cent a dwelling. Last year in February the corresponding proportions were 21 and 8 per cent.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 10/1995-2/2009


Consumers' micro and macro indicators 10/1995-2/2009*

* 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, January 2009

* Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Average 10/1995-. Data for Ireland missing.
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, January 2009

Source: Consumer Survey 2009, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö

Consumer Confidence 2009, February (pdf 189.8 kB)


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Last updated 26.2.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.3.2024].
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