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Published: 27 December 2013

Light positive trend in consumer confidence continued in December

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 7.2 in December whereas in November it was 6.4 and in October 3.8. Confidence in the economy was in December stronger than one year ago (3.5) but still below the long-term average (12.2). The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,379 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 16 December.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, only consumers' already bright views about their own saving possibilities improved in December from the previous month. Views about the other components remained more or less unchanged. Expectations of Finland’s economic situation and unemployment development, in particular, were still weak and the expectations concerning consumers’ own economic situation were cautious.

In December, consumers thought that the time was more favourable for saving and also more than previously for raising a loan than for buying durable goods. In December, employed consumers felt personally some threat of unemployment.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In December, 31 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve during the next 12 months, while 29 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In last year’s December the corresponding proportions were 23 and 40 per cent.

In all, 24 per cent of consumers believed in December that their own economy would improve and 13 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

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 December that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 55 per cent of them believed it would increase. Twelve months earlier the corresponding proportions were 11 and 61 per cent.

In December, nine per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, whereas 23 per cent thought it had grown. Forty-two 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 December that consumer prices would go up by 2.5 per cent over the next 12 months. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.3 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In December, 40 per cent of consumers thought that the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Different consumption intentions were moderate in December. Only 14 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and six per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Eighteen per cent of households were planning to make renovations to their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

In December, 55 per cent of consumers considered the time favourable for saving. In all, 67 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 12 months.

In December, 59 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for raising a loan. One month earlier the corresponding proportion was 53 per cent. In December, 13 per cent of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 12/2012 11/2013 12/2013 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,2 22,9 -6,5 3,5 6,4 7,2 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,6 14,1 2,3 4,4 6,9 6,0 -
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,5 25,3 -27,1 -11,4 1,8 -0,8 -
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,3 4,6 0,6 3,1 2,6 2,5  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -1,9 27,6 -51,1 -28,1 -24,5 -22,3 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -0,1 7,6 -18,8 -5,8 -9,5 -9,2 --
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,8 41,8 -14,2 0,1 0,8 5,2 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,4 36,8 -19,6 10,1 6,2 5,1 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,1 42,0 -47,1 9,7 5,9 14,0 +/-
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,6 52,2 10,9 49,0 41,5 46,0 +

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 (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 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 December, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 41.3 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 primarily been caused by a drop in the balance figure of one component, namely own household's saving possibilities. The extension of the population has also somewhat affected the results on owning various home technology.

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, December. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.12.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. December 2013. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 8.12.2023].
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