2019, a year of economic pessimism for Finnish consumers
Finland is about to close a year marked by pessimism about the progress of its economy. Although the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the percentage of employed people have grown shyly, the consumer confidence indicator (CCI) has remained negative throughout 2019, reflecting the poor expectations that Finns have about the future.
The CCI stood at -4.2 in December whereas in November it was -5.0 and in October -6.6. Last year in December, the CCI received the value -2.2. The average for the CCI since 1998 is -1.9. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s Consumer Confidence Survey, to which 1,060 persons resident in Finland responded between 1 and 16 December.
Source: Statistics Finland.
The four components
Of the four components of the CCI consumers’ views of their own current economy and the near future of Finland’s economy improved in December compared to November. Expectations concerning consumer’s own economic situation remained almost unchanged.
Consumers’ intentions to spend money on durable goods were somewhat lower in December than one month earlier. Compared to the corresponding period last year, the components of the CCI weakened apart from increased intentions to spend money.
In December, the views of consumers’ own current economy were good and views about economic development in Finland were weak. The other CCI components were at average levels.
Source: Statistics Finland
Gloomier expectations regarding employment
In December, consumers also expected the unemployment situation in Finland to become gloomier in future. Employed consumers felt that their personal threat of unemployment had increased in recent times. However, nearly every second employed person did not experience any threat.
In December, consumer confidence was strongest in Northern Finland (CCI -1.4) and weakest in Eastern Finland (-7.6). Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were most optimistic (3.4) in December. Pensioners clearly had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development (-14.7).
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, says Statistics Finland.