Finnish consumer confidence continues to strengthen slightly

About 40% of Finnish consumers expect their financial situation to improve this year.

The confidence of Finnish consumers in their own financial situation and in the Finnish economy continued to strengthen slightly at the end of 2011, according to the Federation of Finnish Commerce. The consumer confidence barometer published by Statistics Finland at the end of December stood at 3.5, compared to 1.0 in November and -1.6 in October. Consumer confidence also improved from December 2011 when the barometer stood at 0.4.

Almost a quarter of the consumers who responded to the barometer survey in December believed that both their own financial situation and the performance of the Finnish economy would improve during the coming year. About 40% believed that their own financial situation would improve, while 17% believed that it would worsen.

Moderate consumption expectations

About a third of consumers in the survey view the current situation as favourable for consumption. Saving is seen as more opportune than taking out a loan or buying consumer goods. Despite the generally moderate consumption expectations, 16% of households are fairly or very certain of buying a car and 7% intend to buy a home. Two thirds of households had saved some money in December and 81% believe that they would be able to make some savings this year.

Finnish consumers expect prices to increase by 3.1% over the next 12 months. The long-term average expectation for the inflation rate is 2.2%. Only 10% of respondents believe that unemployment will fall this year.

Statistics Finland interviewed 1365 people residing in Finland for the consumer confidence barometer survey.

Source: Federation of Finnish Commerce