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Published: 29 March 2010

Consumers have stable trust in the economy

Consumer confidence in the economy was in March still stronger than the long-term average. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 15.4 in March, having been 15.9 in February and 14.5 in January. At the same time consumer confidence was clearly better than one year ago. The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Survey, for which 1,480 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 19 March.

All four components of the consumer confidence indicator changed only little in March when compared with the previous month. Consumers' view of their own economy and particularly of Finland's economy remained bright. Belief in Finland's economy has been strongest since 1994. In addition, pessimism about general and own unemployment decreased again slightly. Consumers still considered the time in March favourable for buying durable goods.

Consumer views on the economic and financial conditions in Finland in March 2010, balances*

Consumer confidence indicator 12.9 21.8 -6.5 -1.5 15.9 15.4 +/-
CCI components:              
Own economic situation
in 12 months' time
9.1 14.1 2.3 3.4 10.8 10.1 +/-
Household's saving possibilities
in the next 12 months
36.6 52.0 10.9 50.3 50.9 46.4 +
Finland's economic situation
in 12 months' time
4.6 22.0 -27.1 -13.6 21.2 22.0 ++
Finland's unemployment situation
in 12 months' time
1.4 27.6 -51.1 -46.1 -19.2 -17.0 -
in 12 months' time, per cent
2.1 4.6 0.7 1.8 1.9 2.0  
Own threat of unemployment
at present
0.4 7.6 -18.8 -18.8 -5.9 -4.4 -
Financial situation of household
at present
26.9 35.1 14.7 33.5 33.2 32.1 +
Favourable time
for buying durable goods
21.0 41.8 -14.2 25.5 37.7 30.5 +
Favourable time
for saving
10.8 36.8 -19.6 9.4 10.4 10.5 +/-
Favourable time
for raising a loan
18.2 42.0 -47.1 7.6 21.4 21.2 +/-
* 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 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.
** ++ Outlook is very good, + Outlook is good, +/- Outlook is neutral, - Outlook is poor, - - Outlook is very poor. Deviation of balance from average has been compared to standard deviation.

In March 56 per cent of consumers believed that Finland's economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 12 per cent of them thought that the country's economy would deteriorate. One year ago, the corresponding proportions were pessimistic 25 and 45 per cent. In all, 28 per cent of consumers believed in March that their own economy would improve and only 10 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. Twelve months ago the corresponding proportions were 20 and 14 per cent.

Altogether 20 per cent of consumers expected in March that unemployment would decrease over the next 12 months, while 49 per cent of them believed it would increase. One year ago, the corresponding proportions were very pessimistic seven and 80 per cent. Thirteen per cent of employed persons believed in March that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 21 per cent thought it had grown. One year ago the same proportions were at their most pessimistic at five and 31 per cent. In March, 47 per cent of employed persons thought the threat of unemployment had remained unchanged and 20 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in March that consumer prices would go up by 2.0 per cent over the next 12 months. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.1 per cent.

Altogether 57 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in March. Sixty-six per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 79 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In March 65 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Twelve months ago the respective proportion was 55 per cent. In March 14 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

In March 53 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Consumption intentions were mostly moderate, but many households had plans to spend money on, for instance, travel and buying of vehicles during the next six months. Sixteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In last year's March the corresponding proportions were 15 and eight per cent.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 10/1995-3/2010

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time 10/1995-3/2010

Deviation of CCI from country average in EU member states, February 2010*

* Calculated from seasonally adjusted series. Average: 10/1995-. Data for Ireland missing.
Source: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results, February 2010

Source: Consumer Survey 2010, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo +358 9 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö

Consumer Confidence 2010, March (pdf 204.0 kB)


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Last updated 29.3.2010

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. March 2010. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.11.2023].
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