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Published: 27 February 2013

Consumers’ confidence in the economy improved further in February

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 9.6 in February, having been 4.5 in January and 3.5 in December. Confidence in the economy was more or less at the same level as one year ago (8.3) in February, but clearly below its long-term average (12.5). The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,453 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 1 and 19 February.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

All four components of the consumer confidence indicator improved slightly in February compared to January. The views about Finland's future economic situation and about own household's saving possibilities improved the most. Consumers' expectations concerning their own economic situation and development of unemployment showed less improvement. The views on employment were still rather gloomy.

Employed consumers felt in February that the threat of unemployment had decreased slightly from January. Consumers thought that the time was slightly more favourable for raising a loan than for saving or buying durable goods.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In February, 35 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 26 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In January, the corresponding proportions were 29 and 32 per cent and in last year's February 29 and 30 per cent.

In all, 25 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 respective proportions were roughly the same at 24 and 15 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

Altogether, 15 per cent of consumers thought in February that unemployment would decrease in Finland during the next 12 months. A little over half (52 per cent), in turn, expected unemployment to increase. In January, the respective proportions were 14 and 59 per cent and twelve months ago 18 and 49 per cent.

In February, 11 per cent of consumers believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months. Clearly more, or 18 per cent, thought the threat had grown. Twelve months previously, the corresponding proportions were 12 and 15 per cent. In February, 46 per cent of employed persons thought the threat had remained unchanged and 24 per cent felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in February that consumer prices would go up by 3.1 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

Saving was considered worthwhile by 56 per cent of consumers in February. 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 February, 59 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Twelve months ago the respective proportion was 54 per cent. In February, 12 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

Buying of durable goods

In February, 37 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Consumption intentions were clearly more moderate than the long-term average. Seventeen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 7 per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Last year in February, the corresponding proportions were 17 and 9 per cent. In February, 20 per cent of households were planning to make renovations to their dwelling.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 02/2012 01/2013 02/2013 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,5 22,9 -6,5 8,3 4,5 9,6 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,7 14,1 2,3 5,8 5,5 7,4 -
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,8 25,3 -27,1 -2,2 -3,3 3,5 +/-
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 2,9 2,9 3,1  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -0,8 27,6 -51,1 -17,6 -25,8 -20,3 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) 0,5 7,6 -18,8 0,2 -8,2 -3,1 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 19,7 41,8 -14,2 11,8 4,9 5,0 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,6 36,8 -19,6 17,0 10,9 8,9 +/-
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,4 42,0 -47,1 7,2 10,1 13,6 -
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,3 52,2 10,9 47,1 41,5 47,6 +

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 Consumer Survey

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

In February, the non-response rate of the Survey was 38.2 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. This has mainly been caused by the fall in the balance figure of one component, households' saving possibilities. The extension of the population has also somewhat affected the results concerning the possession of home technology in households.

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 2013, February. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tara Junes 09 1734 3503, Pertti Kangassalo 09 1734 3598,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.2.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. February 2013. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.12.2023].
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