Finns are increasingly confident about the national economy, the employment situation, and their own financial situation and employment prospects.
Statistics Finland on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence indicator climbed to its highest ever reading of 25.8 points in February, representing an increase of 5.0 points from the corresponding period in 2017. The reading is also well above the long-term average for the indicator of 12.3 points.
Perttu Kangassalo, an expert at the statistical institution, told Helsingin Sanomat that this is the first time that the indicator or its predecessor has produced such a high reading. The first consumer confidence index was published in 1987.
“The old indicator didn’t get close to these numbers. We didn’t get close even at the end of the 1980s,” he commented to the daily newspaper.
Statistics Finland’s consumer confidence indicator consists of four components: consumers’ expectations about the national economy, the employment situation, their own financial situation and their own savings possibilities. The statistical institution surveyed a total of 1,146 people for the indicator between 1 and 19 February.
Their responses suggest that consumers grew considerably more confident that unemployment would decrease between January and February. Finns, the survey found, are more optimistic also about the national economy, their own financial situation and their own savings possibilities.
Consumers also viewed that the time is currently very favourable for saving, but indicated that their willingness to take out loans or buy durable goods has waned since January.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva