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Published: 27 August 2015

Consumers' economic expectations mostly subdued in August

The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at 8.3 in August, whereas in July it was 6.9 and in June 10.8. Last year in August, the CCI received the value 2.2. The long-term average for the CCI is 11.8. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey, for which 1,284 people resident in Finland were interviewed between 3 and 19 August.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI)

Of the four components of the CCI, only assessments of the household’s saving possibilities improved in August from July. Views of Finland’s economy and unemployment became slightly gloomier and views on the consumers' own economy remained almost unchanged. In August, belief in own saving possibilities was good while belief in other components of the CCI was weak.

In August, consumers regarded the time fairly favourable for taking out a loan and for a change also for buying durable goods but not so much for saving. In August, employed consumers felt personally more threatened by unemployment than on average, as was the case also in July and one year ago.

Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In August, 30 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 27 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The corresponding proportions were 33 and 26 per cent in July, and pessimistic 23 and 38 per cent one year ago in August.

In all, 24 per cent of consumers believed in August that their own economy would improve and only 15 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 50 per cent of consumers thought in August that unemployment would increase over the year, and 14 per cent of them believed it would decrease. The corresponding proportions were 47 and 17 per cent in July, and 62 and 10 per cent one year ago.

Twenty per cent of employed persons reckoned in August that their personal threat of unemployment had grown over the past few months and 12 per cent thought it had lessened. Twenty per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all.

Consumers predicted in August that consumer prices would go up by 1.5 per cent over the next 12 months. The predicted long-term average inflation rate is 2.2 per cent.

Buying of durable goods

In August, 48 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Last year in August, the corresponding estimate was 38 per cent. More households than usual, or 19 per cent of them, were fairly or very certain to buy a car and seven per cent a dwelling during the next 12 months. Nineteen per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

Saving and taking out a loan

Altogether, 55 per cent of consumers considered saving worthwhile in August. Sixty-eight per cent of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 81 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. In the long term, the average share of households that have saved or think they will be able to save is 59 and 74 per cent, respectively.

In August, 62 per cent of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan. Nevertheless, only 12 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- 08/2014 07/2015 08/2015 Outlook
A1 Consumer confidence indicator, CCI = (B2+B4+B7+D2)/4 11,8 22,9 -6,5 2,2 6,9 8,3 -
B2 Own economy in 12 months' time (balance) 8,4 14,1 2,3 5,2 5,8 5,5 --
B4 Finland's economy in 12 months' time (balance) 3,2 25,3 -27,1 -9,6 2,1 -0,7 -
B6 Inflation in 12 months' time (per cent) 2,2 4,6 0,6 2,2 1,6 1,5  
B7 Unemployment in Finland in 12 months' time (balance) -3,4 27,6 -51,1 -28,9 -17,4 -20,6 -
B8 Own threat of unemployment now (balance) -1,2 7,6 -18,8 -5,6 -6,6 -4,3 -
C1 Favourability of time for purchasing durables (balance) 18,2 41,8 -14,2 3,4 17,9 20,1 =
C2 Favourability of time for saving (balance) 10,8 36,8 -19,6 -0,1 6,5 7,4 -
C3 Favourability of time for raising a loan (balance) 16,9 42,0 -47,1 9,7 19,0 19,6 =
D2 Household's saving possibilities in the next 12 months (balance) 39,1 52,2 10,9 42,1 37,4 49,0 +

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 gross size of the monthly sample of the Survey is 2,350 persons. In August 2015, the non-response rate of the Consumer Survey was 45.4 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.

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, August. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 27.8.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. August 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 8.12.2023].
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