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Published: 24 February 2011

Consumers very confident in February

Consumers' confidence in the economy rose in February back to the high level of last autumn. The consumer confidence indicator stood at 20.0 in February, having been 16.6 in January and 13.5 in December. At the same time, consumers' confidence in the economy was clearly stronger in February than one year ago and when compared with the long-term average. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,430 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 16 February.

Consumer confidence indicator

Consumer confidence indicator

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, only consumers' views about their own economy remained unchanged and equally cautious in February compared with the previous month. Views on their own saving possibilities, Finland's economy and development of unemployment strengthened further. In February consumers thought inflation would accelerate and considered the time favourable for saving. However, households had plenty of consumption intentions.

In February, 43 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 16 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In January the respective proportions were 40 and 18 per cent and twelve months ago 56 and 14 per cent. In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in February that their own economy would improve while 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year. One year ago the same proportions were 29 and 10 per cent.

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Consumers' expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time

Altogether 37 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would decrease in Finland over the year, while 25 per cent of them believed it would increase. In January the respective proportions were 34 and 26 per cent and twelve months ago gloomy at 18 and 50 per cent.

In February, 20 per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 13 per cent thought it had grown. Twelve months previously, these proportions were also gloomy at 12 and 22 per cent. In February, 42 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 3.2 per cent over the next 12 months. In February last year the predicted inflation rate was 1.9 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.2 per cent.

Saving was considered worthwhile by 66 per cent of consumers in February. One year earlier, 58 per cent of them thought so. 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.

In February, 65 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. In February, 13 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

In February, 45 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. One month ago the respective proportion was 51 per cent and one year ago 58 per cent. Nevertheless, many households were planning in February to spend money on travel, home repairs and furnishings or acquisition of domestic appliances and hobby equipment during the next six months. Eighteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and nine per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Last year in February the corresponding proportions were 16 and seven per cent.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 02/2010 01/2011 02/2011 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 13,3 22,9 -6,5 15,9 16,6 20,0 ++
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 9,1 14,1 2,3 10,8 8,3 8,5 +/-
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 37,3 52,2 10,9 50,9 44,2 52,2 ++
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 5,3 25,3 -27,1 21,2 10,1 13,1 +
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) 1,4 27,6 -51,1 -19,2 3,8 6,1 +
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,1 4,6 0,6 1,9 3,1 3,2  
C1 Favourability of time for buying durable goods (balance) 21,3 41,8 -14,2 37,7 27,5 18,6 -
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,2 36,8 -19,6 10,4 19,9 19,3 +
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 18,5 42,0 -47,1 21,4 22,5 19,0 +/-

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.

Explanations for Outlook column: ++ 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.

The (seasonally adjusted) Consumer Survey results for all EU countries will be later released on the European Commission website: European Commission, DG ECFIN, Business and Consumer Survey Results;

Source: Consumer Survey 2011, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo (09) 1734 3598, Pellervo Marja-aho (09) 1734 3349,

Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö

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Updated 24.2.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2011. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.12.2023].
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