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Published: 27 September 2012

Consumer confidence strengthened slightly in September

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 3.4 in September, having been zero in August and July. Confidence in the economy was more or less at the same level as one year ago (2.3), but clearly below its long-term average (12.7). The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,468 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 3 and 19 September.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumers' expectations of their own and Finland's economy, development of employment and their household's saving possibilities improved somewhat in September from August. Despite this slight improvement, consumers' views remained gloomy apart from their already fairly positive outlook on their household's saving possibilities.

In September, consumers' estimate about the time being favourable for buying durable goods was distinctly gloomier than in August. In contrast, the time was considered good for saving and taking out a loan. The threat of unemployment experienced by employed persons remained in September nearly unchanged from August.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In September, around one fifth (19%) of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 42 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were 16 and 48 per cent in September.

Nearly one quarter (23%) of consumers trusted in September that their own economy would improve within the next 12 months and 14 per cent feared it would deteriorate. One year ago the corresponding proportions were along the same lines, at 23 and 16 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

Unemployment and inflation

Nearly three fifths (58%) of consumers thought that unemployment would increase in Finland and 12 per cent expected it to decrease over the next 12 months. One year ago in September, the respective proportions were 58 and 14 per cent.

Nearly one fifth (17%) of employed persons believed in September that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months, whereas 11 per cent thought it had decreased. One half of employed persons thought the threat of unemployment had remained unchanged and 22 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers estimated in September that consumer prices would go up by 3.3 per cent over the next 12 months. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Saving and taking out a loan

Clearly more than one half (57%) of consumers regarded the time favourable for saving. One year previously, the corresponding proportion was 65 per cent. Two thirds of households had been able to lay aside some money and four fifths believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In all, 62 per cent of consumers considered the time good for raising a loan. One year ago, the respective proportion was nearly one half of households (47%). In September, 13 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

Buying of durable goods

Nearly two fifths (38%) of consumers considered the time good for buying durable goods in September. Around one third (34 %) thought it was not a good time for consuming. The corresponding proportions in August were still 42 and 30 per cent. Despite moderate consumption intentions, 14 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling in the next twelve months.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 09/2011 08/2012 09/2012 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,7 22,9 -6,5 2,3 0,5 3,4 --
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,8 14,1 2,3 4,5 2,6 5,1 --
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 4,1 25,3 -27,1 -19,0 -18,1 -14,2 --
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 3,2 3,4 3,3  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -0,1 27,6 -51,1 -25,3 -28,2 -25,2 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) 0,8 7,6 -18,8 -0,2 -2,7 -2,4 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 20,1 41,8 -14,2 4,2 11,4 3,7 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,7 36,8 -19,6 19,2 13,2 9,8 +/-
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,5 42,0 -47,1 -2,2 18,0 16,7 +/-
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,2 52,2 10,9 48,9 45,7 47,9 +

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 (positive) 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 population and sample of the Survey

The population of the Consumer Survey comprises approximately 4.4 million persons aged 15 to 84 and 2.6 million households in Finland. The population was extended to persons aged 75 to 84 starting from January 2012. The gross sample size of the Survey is monthly 2,350 persons (previously 2,200 persons).

In September, the non-response rate of the Survey was 37.5 per cent. The non-response rate includes those who refused from the survey or were otherwise prevented from participating as well as those who could not be contacted.

The extension of the population, that is, responses from persons aged 75 to 84, is estimated to have weakened the value of the consumer confidence indicator by good one unit starting from January 2012.

EU results

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

Source: Consumer Survey 2012, September. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tara Junes 09 1734 3503,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

Publication in pdf-format (462.6 kB)


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Updated 27.9.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. September 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.10.2023].
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