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Published: 27 March 2014

Consumers’ views on the economy unchanged in March

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 8.5 in March having been 8.3 in February and 9.9 in January. In last year’s March, the consumer confidence indicator received the value 10.2. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 12.2. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,365 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 3 and 19 March.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

There were only slight changes in all four components of the consumer confidence indicator in March compared to February. Consumers’ views concerning Finland’s and their own economy were cautious and expectations concerning unemployment were still gloomy. By contrast, views on own saving possibilities remained good.

In March, consumers still thought that the time was more favourable for raising a loan than for saving or buying durable goods.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In March, 31 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 all, 23 per cent of consumers believed in March 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 51 per cent of consumers thought in March that unemployment would increase over the year, and 14 per cent of them believed it would decrease. The respective proportions in February were 56 and 13 per cent.

Twenty-one per cent of employed persons reckoned in March that their personal threat of unemployment had increased over the past few months, while 10 per cent thought it had decreased. Forty-five 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 March that consumer prices would go up by 2.7 per cent over the next 12 months. The long-term predicted average inflation rate is 2.3 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In March, 37 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Fewer households than usual, or only 13 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and six per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. In February, 21 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovations to their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Altogether 55 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in March. In all, 66 per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and 80 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In March, 58 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Twelve per cent of households were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 03/2013 02/2014 03/2014 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 12,2 22,9 -6,5 10,2 8,3 8,5 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,6 14,1 2,3 7,0 6,4 5,5 --
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,5 25,3 -27,1 3,5 2,9 1,0 =
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,3 4,6 0,6 3,0 2,6 2,7  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -2,1 27,6 -51,1 -17,8 -24,6 -20,5 --
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -0,3 7,6 -18,8 -7,2 -8,5 -5,9 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,7 41,8 -14,2 -1,3 7,8 2,7 --
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 11,3 36,8 -19,6 5,7 7,5 6,6 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 17,0 42,0 -47,1 12,0 11,5 12,6 -
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 38,7 52,2 10,9 48,3 48,6 48,2 +

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 (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 March, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 41.9 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 2014, March. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.3.2014

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. March 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 8.12.2023].
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