Monday February 26, 2024

70% see economy worse

Consumer confidence continues to weaken in Oct

Published : 30 Oct 2023, 10:49

  DF Report
Pixabay File Photo.

The balance figure of the Consumer Confidence Indicator (CCI) stood at minus 12.6 in October, having been minus 11.5 in September and minus 8.0 in August, according to Statistics Finland.

One year ago in October, the CCI received the value minus 17.6. The long-term average for the CCI is minus 2.3.

The data are based on the Consumer Confidence Survey, to which 1,153 persons resident in Finland responded between October 1 and October 19.

Views concerning consumers’ own economy at present and also expectations concerning their own and Finland's economy in 12 months' time were still on a very weak level.

Expectations concerning consumers' own economy weakened compared to September. Views on consumers' own economy at present and expectations concerning Finland's economy did not change much in a month.

The time was regarded very unfavourable for buying durable goods. There were very few plans to make major purchases. Intentions to buy and renovate one's dwelling remained weak.

Expectations concerning the general development of unemployment remained on a gloomy level and the personal threat of unemployment was also felt to have grown slightly.

Consumers' estimates of their own financial situation weakened below the average level. Consumers predicted that their saving possibilities would be in future worse than usual.

In October, consumer confidence was strongest in Greater Helsinki (CCI minus 10.1) while it was weakest in Eastern Finland (minus 18.5).

Of population groups, self-employed persons were most optimistic ( minus 4.9) in October while pensioners clearly had the gloomiest expectations concerning economic development (minus 24.3).

Consumers' expectations concerning their own economy weakened in October compared to September, while their views on their own economy at present and expectations concerning Finland's economy remained almost unchanged.

Compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, expectations concerning the economy improved clearly in October, but views about their own economy at present weakened slightly.

Thirty per cent of consumers thought in October that their own economy was weaker than one year ago. Twenty-two per cent of consumers regarded their own economy stronger at the time of the survey than one year ago.

As many as 70 per cent of consumers thought that Finland’s economy is now worse than one year earlier, and only six per cent saw it better.

In October, only 18 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming 12 months, while as many as 45 per cent of them thought that our country’s economy would deteriorate.

In all, 25 per cent of consumers believed in October that their own economy would improve and 22 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Consumers' expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation in Finland remained more or less unchanged and on a dismal level in October.

Only 12 per cent of consumers expected that unemployment would decrease over the next year and as many as 60 per cent reckoned it would increase.

In October, employed consumers (wage and salary earners and self-employed persons) also felt that their personal threat of unemployment or temporary lay-off had grown slightly. The threat was estimated to be already greater than the long-term average.

Six per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened and as many as 23 per cent thought the risk had grown. On the other hand, 44 per cent of employed persons felt in October that they were not threatened by unemployment or temporary lay-off at all.

In October, consumers' estimates of the inflation at the time of the survey and concerning price changes in one year's time remained unchanged and on a high level.

Consumers estimated in October that consumer prices have risen by 7.2 per cent from last year's October and would go up by 4.5 per cent over the next year.

Altogether 82 per cent of consumers thought that prices had gone up much or fairly much over the year.

Clearly fewer, or 37 per cent of consumers expected prices to rise at least at the same rate in the coming months as well.

In October, the time was regarded very poor for taking out a loan and also for saving. Just seven per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for taking out a loan and 37 per cent considered saving worthwhile. There were slightly fewer plans to raise a loan in October than usual. Just 14 per cent of consumers were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumers' estimate of their own financial situation fell lower than average in October. In addition, it was estimated that they would have fewer saving possibilities in the coming months than in general. Fifty-four per cent of consumers had been able to lay aside some money and 69 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

Only nine per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for making expensive purchases.

Consumers’ intentions to spend money on durable goods in the next 12 months were very low in September.

There was not much change in purchase intentions compared to September and one year ago. Just nine per cent of consumers planned on increasing and nearly one half, or 46 per cent on reducing their spending on durable goods over the next 12 months.

In October, there were slightly fewer plans than usual to buy a car over the next 12 months.

Intentions to buy a dwelling remained considerably below the long-term average. At the same time, fewer consumers than usual were considering renovating their dwelling in September.

In October, 13 per cent of consumers were either definitely or possibly going to buy a car during the next 12 months. Only 11 per cent of consumers considered buying a dwelling or building a house. In addition, just 14 per cent of consumers were planning to spend money on renovating their dwelling during the next 12 months.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is carried out with a web questionnaire and by telephone interviews. Answers are mainly given by means of answer options. In October 2023, a total of 1,153 persons participated in the Survey and the response rate was 52.7 per cent. Of the responses, 86 per cent came from the web questionnaire.