Finnish consumers are increasingly optimistic about the future, reports Statistics Finland.
The statistical institution announced earlier this week that the consumer confidence indicator crept up to its highest reading since May 2015 – of 15.7 – in August, having stood at 13.1 in July and at 14.9 in June. The reading is also 7.4 higher than in the corresponding period last year and 4.0 higher than the long-term average.
Statistics Finland points out that all four components of the consumer confidence indicator improved moderately from the previous month in August: Consumers are not only increasingly optimistic about the economic conditions in Finland but also about their own economy, their own savings possibilities and the general employment situation.
Nearly four in ten (39%) of the 1,192 people interviewed on 1–19 August said they expect the economic conditions to improve over the next 12 months, while nearly one-fifth (18%) of them said they fear the economic conditions will take a turn for the worse. More than one in four (27%) of consumers expressed their optimism about their own financial situation, whereas 13 per cent said they expect their financial situation to deteriorate.
One in four (28%) of respondents estimated that the employment situation is likely to improve and 33 per cent that the situation is likely to exacerbate by August 2017. Over one-tenth (13%) of respondents in employment estimated that the threat of unemployment has decreased, while nearly one-fifth of them (18%) estimated that it has increased. Approximately one-fourth (26%) of consumers in employment said they are under no danger whatsoever of losing their job.
As many as 80 per cent of respondents voiced their confidence in their ability to set money aside over the next 12 months.
Almost one-fifth (17%) of respondents also revealed that they are likely or very likely to buy a car and 7 per cent that they are likely or very likely to buy a house over the next 12 months.
Statistics Finland highlights that consumer confidence was unusually the highest among respondents from Northern Finland and the lowest among respondents from Greater Helsinki. The most pessimistic take on upcoming economic developments came from pensioners, according to the statistical institution.
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva