Last updated 18/03/2021 - 12:09
Consumer confidence in the economy declined in the autumn
Consumer confidence in the Finnish economy grew sharply in January, even reaching a positive figure (+2.6) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Trust also grew sharply on the national level, despite remaining somewhat negative in January (-0.9). This demonstrates that consumers are starting to have faith in both their own finances as well the national economy improving. It is likely that the single most important factor in this increased trust in the future is the start of COVID-19 vaccinations. Indeed, it is true that if we can get the pandemic under control, the economy will start to recover.
Macro and micro indicators
In January, the macro indicator, which describes consumer expectations concerning the development of the entire country’s employment and economic situation, was -9.4 in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Compared with last autumn (the average for September–December -24.0), expectations have grown considerably and this is the most positive the outlook has been since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. The progress of COVID-19 and its effects on economic development would seem to have an especially large impact on consumers’ economic expectations.
The micro indicator, which describes consumers’ own finances and personal saving possibilities, was clearly on the rise in January. It’s value of 36.8 is the highest during the entire 18-month review period. However, it must be noted that when consumers are asked about their views regarding changes in the financial situation over the following 12 months, the current baseline for conducting the survey, currently poor, must be considered. Nonetheless, indicators related to consumer trust would seem to indicate that people do expect an upturn in the economy.
Statistics Finland renewed the data collection method of the consumer confidence indicator in May 2019, and the figures are therefore not comparable with previous figures. The age categories of interviewees were altered a little bit and the sample size was reduced somewhat. The data content is also more limited, and all questions now concern the person themselves, not their household. The components of the new confidence indicator are: the consumer’s own current finances, the consumer’s own finances in 12 months, Finland’s economy in 12 months and the consumer’s spending on consumer durables in the next 12 months compared to the previous 12 months.