Friday 12/4/20
FINNISH ECONOMY

Consumer confidence continued to erode in October

Consumers’ expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation dropped to an even gloomier level and there was also more personal threat of unemployment or lay-off experienced by employed people.

Consumers in a Prisma store in Vantaa. Photo: Foreigner.fi
Consumers in a Prisma store in Vantaa. Photo: Foreigner.fi

Finnish consumer confidence in the economy fell again in October, a month in which citizens have seen the government impose new restrictions on individuals and businesses to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Many are more afraid than before of losing their jobs.

The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at -6.9 in October, having been -5.9 in September and -5.1 in August. In last year’s October the CCI received the value -6.6.

The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Confidence Survey, to which 1,181 people residing in Finland responded between 1 and 19 October.

Consumer-confidence-October-2020Source: Statistics Finland.

Consumers' expectations concerning their own economy in 12 months remained more or less unchanged, while their expectations concerning Finland's economy in the near future still weakened clearly. Compared with the corresponding period last year, the components of the CCI turned slightly for the worse in October apart from intentions to spend money.

In October, consumers' views on Finland's economic development were gloomy. Expectations concerning one’s own economy in the near future were subdued but estimates of its present state were already fairly bright. Consumers had slightly more intentions of spending money on durable goods than average in October.

Consumer-expectations-october-2020Source: Statistics Finland.

Unemployment situation

Consumers’ expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation dropped to an even gloomier level in October. There was also more personal threat of unemployment or lay-off experienced by employed consumers, that is, wage and salary earners and self-employed persons.

Consumers' estimates of the growth rate of consumer prices in the coming months rose slightly in October.

In October, consumers considered their own financial situation to be still excellent. The time was again regarded as fairly favourable for saving but poor for buying durable goods and especially for raising a loan. However, very many were still going to take out a loan in October.

Consumers also had plenty plans of buying a dwelling, renovating their dwelling and buying a car.

By region and population group

In October, consumers' confidence in the economy was strongest in Greater Helsinki (CCI -2.3) and weakest elsewhere in Southern Finland (-10.4). Of population groups, students were most optimistic (-1.4).

Pensioners had the most pessimistic views concerning economic development (-13.7). The CCI received the value -6.3 among self-employed persons in October.

Consumer confidence usually decreases with the person’s age, and correspondingly the confidence typically increases as income grows. Men are likely to have better confidence in the economy than women, Statistics Finland says.

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