Expectations of one’s own and Finland’s economy strengthened in July compared to June, according to the latest consumer confidence survey released by Statistics Finland on Monday. In addition, intentions to spend money on durable goods increased. Views concerning consumers’ economy at present remained unchanged. Also compared with the corresponding period last year, expectations concerning the economy were now brighter and consumption intentions were higher. By contrast, views on the present state of the own economy were worse in July than one year earlier.
In July, consumers’ views on Finland’s economic development were still weak. By contrast, expectations concerning the near future of one’s own economy were already fairly bright, and the views of its present state corresponded to the long-term average views. Besides, consumption intentions were already on a good level in July.
Consumers’ expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation in Finland improved further in July, but the expectations were still on a rather gloomy level. Employed consumers (wage and salary earners and self-employed persons), felt personally very threatened by unemployment and the threat had not decreased in one month. Consumers’ estimates of the future growth rate of consumer prices remained more or less unchanged in July.
In July, consumers still considered their financial situation to be excellent. The time was regarded as somewhat favorable for buying durable goods and saving, but poor for raising a loan. The estimates improved clearly in a month. In addition, as in the previous months, more consumers than usual were considering raising a loan in July, and a record number intended to buy a house or another place of residence during the next 12 months. There were again also extensive plans on renovating one’s dwelling and buying a passenger car.
In July, consumer confidence was strongest in Greater Helsinki (CCI 2.0) and weakest in Western Finland (-3.8). Among population groups, upper-level salaried employees were most optimistic (7.2). Pensioners had the most pessimistic expectations concerning economic development (-10.7). The CCI received the value -6.1 among self-employed persons in July.
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.
The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) stood at -1.6 in July, having been -3.9 in June and -9.0 in May. The long-term average for the CCI is -1.8. Last year in July, the CCI received the value -3.9. The data are based on Statistics Finland’s consumer confidence survey, to which 1,034 persons resident in Finland responded between July 1 and 19.