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Consumers' own and Finland's economy

In December, only 24 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve during the next 12 months, while as many as 27 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. In November, the corresponding proportions were 25 and 24 per cent, and in December last year 51 and 8 per cent.

In all, 28 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. One month earlier, the corresponding proportions were 29 and 11 per cent, and one year earlier 30 and 11 per cent.

Unemployment and inflation

Altogether 35 per cent of consumers thought in December that unemployment would decrease over the year, while 22 per cent of them believed it would increase. The shares were 42 and 19 per cent in November and 47 and 16 per cent one year ago.

In December, 29 per cent of employed persons felt that they were not threatened by unemployment at all. Seventeen per cent of employed persons reckoned that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened over the past few months, while 10 per cent thought it had grown.

Consumers predicted in December that consumer prices would go up by 2.2 per cent over the next 12 months. One year ago, the predicted inflation rate was 1.6 per cent, and its long-term average is 2.1 per cent.

Saving and taking out a loan

In December, 71 per cent of consumers considered the time favourable for saving. The long-term average proportion is 59 per cent. In December, 70 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 December, 61 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for raising a loan. One year previously, the corresponding proportion was still 76 per cent. This December, 12 per cent of households were thinking of taking out a loan within one year.

Buying of durable goods

In December, 40 per cent of consumers thought that the time was favourable for buying durable goods. Twelve months earlier, 46 per cent of consumers thought so. Fewer than usual, or 14 per cent of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car during the next 12 months. Just six per cent of households considered buying a dwelling. In December, 18 per cent of households were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling within a year.

When intending to buy both a dwelling and a car in December, the clearly most common planned method of financing was the sales revenue received from the former dwelling or car (most important for 41 and 52 per cent of the planning households). The next most planned financing methods were a bank loan and own savings and hire purchase for a car.

Method of the Consumer Survey

The Consumer Survey is a telephone interview survey by means of which it is possible to measure Finns’ images - assessments and expectations - of the general economic development and the financial situation of one's own household, and intentions to make major purchases, save money or take out a loan. In addition, the survey is a tool for finding out how common modern equipment are in households. For the Consumer Survey, answers are given by means of answer options (qualitative survey).

The first Consumer Survey interviews were conducted in November 1987. Until 1991, the survey was carried out twice a year, in May and November. In 1992, the survey times increased to four: the survey months were February, May, August and November. Since October 1995, the Consumer Survey data have been collected monthly on assignment and partial financing of the European Commission .

Sampling and data collection

The population of the Consumer Survey comprises 4.5 million persons aged 15 to 84 and their 2.7 million households in Finland. A sample of 2,350 persons is drawn for the survey for every month. The same sample is also used for the data collection of the Finnish Travel Survey. The target area is the whole country and the respondents of the survey represent the population in Finland, according to age, gender, region of domicile and native language. The interviews are mainly conducted from Statistics Finland's Telephone Interview Centre (CATI), during the first two or three weeks of the month.

In December 2018, in all, 1,236 responses were gained, so the non-response rate of the survey was 47.4 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. Possible over-coverage (dead, moved abroad etc.) is also included in non-response here.


The response data of the Consumer Survey are expanded to the whole population with weighting coefficients. Weighting corrects the effects of non-response and improves the statistical accuracy of the data. The weights are established by using a calibration method (Calmar) and the probability of each observation to be included in the sample. The figures and series presented are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information, see Methodological description .

Source: Consumer Survey 2018, December. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Kangassalo 029 551 3598, Tuomas Parikka 029 551 3276,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Updated 27.12.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Consumer Confidence [e-publication].
ISSN=2669-8889. December 2018, Review . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 27.9.2023].
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