Strong consumer confidence in the economy in Finland

February’s consumer confidence indicator shows optimism in consumption intentions, savings and employment.

Finnish consumers’ confidence in the economy increased in February back to the high level of last autumn, according to Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey. The consumer confidence indicator based on the survey stood at 20.0 in February, having been 16.6 in January and 13.5 in December. At the same time, Finnish consumers’ confidence in the economy was clearly stronger in February than one year ago and when compared with the long-term average.

In February, 43% of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 16% thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate. The outlook was seen as particularly positive regarding employment and savings. Consumers also predicted that consumer prices would go up by 3.2% over the next 12 months. In February last year the predicted inflation rate was 1.9%, and its long-term average is 2.2%.

Regarding their consumption intentions, many households were planning to spend money on travel, home repairs and furnishings or purchase domestic appliances and hobby equipment during the next six months. Some 45% of consumers thought the time was favourable for buying durable goods, while 18% of households were fairly or very certain to buy a car and 9% a dwelling during the next 12 months

Saving was considered worthwhile by 66% of consumers in February 2011, compared to 58% one year earlier. Some 68% of households had been able to lay aside some money and as many as 82% believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months. According to the survey, 65% of consumers regarded the time good for raising a loan and 13% of households were planning to take out a loan within one year.

Statistics Finland’s Consumer Survey was based on interviews with 1,430 people resident in Finland during 1-16 February.

Source: Statistics Finland