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Published: 27 March 2015

Consumer confidence at average level in March

The consumer confidence indicator stood at 11.2 in March having been 10.6 in February and 6.0 in January. In March 2014, the consumer confidence indicator stood at 8.5. The long-term average for the confidence indicator is 11.8. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,350 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 2 and 19 March.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

In March, confidence did not change considerably from February in all four components of the consumer confidence indicator. Only expectations on Finland’s economy decreased a little. Consumers' views concerning their own and especially Finland's economy remained cautious and the views about unemployment were quite gloomy. By contrast, expectations concerning own saving possibilities were very good in March.

Consumers regarded the time more favourable for raising a loan than for buying durable goods or, in particular, saving in March. In March, employed consumers felt personally quite threatened by unemployment as they already had in February and one year earlier.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In March, 30 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 25 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The respective proportions in February were 35 and 24 per cent.

In all, 26 per cent of consumers believed in March that their own economy would improve and 11 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 17 per cent of consumers thought in March that unemployment would decrease over the next 12 months, while 47 per cent of them believed it would increase.

In March, 11 per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 26 per cent thought it had grown. Nineteen per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in March that consumer prices would go up by 1.3 per cent over the next 12 months. In March 2014, the predicted inflation rate was 2.7 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.3 per cent. Consumers' estimates of current inflation have decreased from 3.1 per cent to 0.8 per cent over the year.

Buying of durable goods

In March, 47 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Fifteen per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Eighteen per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling.

Saving and taking out a loan

Fewer consumers than usual, or 52 per cent of them considered saving worthwhile in March. However, 65 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 March, more consumers than average, or 65 per cent of them regarded the time good for raising a loan. Fifteen per cent of households were planning to raise a loan within one year. One month ago the respective proportion was 10 per cent and in March 2014 it stood at 12 per cent.

Consumers' views of the economy

  Average 10/1995- Max. 10/1995- Min. 10/1995- 03/2014 02/2015 03/2015 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,8 22,9 -6,5 8,5 10,6 11,2 =
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,4 14,1 2,3 5,5 8,1 8,5 =
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,2 25,3 -27,1 1,0 4,5 1,2 =
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,3 4,6 0,6 2,7 1,0 1,3  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3,2 27,6 -51,1 -20,5 -18,8 -16,2 -
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,0 7,6 -18,8 -5,9 -8,5 -8,7 --
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 2,7 21,3 17,2 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,9 36,8 -19,6 6,6 0,5 3,3 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 16,8 42,0 -47,1 12,6 22,9 22,2 +
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,0 52,2 10,9 48,2 48,5 51,0 ++

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 March, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 42.6 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 2015, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, Tara Junes 029 551 3503,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.3.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. March 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.12.2023].
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