Consumer confidence remains very weak in May

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Consumer confidence remains very weak in May

The balance figure of the consumer confidence indicator stood at minus 10.3 in May, having been minus 12.6 in April and minus 9.4 in March, according to Statistics Finland.

One year ago in May, the consumer confidence indicator (CCI) received the value minus 8.8.

The long-term average for the CCI is minus 2.5.

The data are based on the consumer confidence survey, to which 1,154 persons resident in Finland responded between 1 and 16 May.

The views on both consumers’ own and Finland’s economy improved slightly from the previous month but weakened somewhat from the year before.

Estimates concerning one's own economy at present and expectations concerning it in 12 months' time were at a very weak level. Expectations concerning Finland’s economy were also fairly gloomy.

The time was still regarded very unfavourable for buying durable goods. Intentions to spend money on consumption, for example, buying a car, were marginal. Intentions to buy a dwelling continued to be subdued.

Expectations concerning the general development of unemployment were gloomy and the personal threat of unemployment was felt to be ever greater. Expectations concerning inflation in one year's time rose.

Views on consumers' own financial situation remained on the average level. Saving possibilities in future were estimated to be slightly weaker than normal.

In May, consumer confidence was strongest in Greater Helsinki (CCI minus 6.3). Confidence was weakest in Western Finland (minus 2.0).

Of population groups, self-employed persons were most optimistic (minus 3.5). Unemployed persons had the most negative expectations concerning economic development (minus 17.7).

In May, women’s (minus15.2) interpretation of the economic development was clearly gloomier than men’s (minus 5.4).

Consumers’ views on both their own and Finland’s economy improved slightly in May compared to April but weakened somewhat from the year before.

In May, consumers’ estimates concerning their own economy at present and expectations concerning it in 12 months' time were at a very weak level. Expectations concerning Finland’s economy were also fairly gloomy.

Thirty-three per cent of consumers thought in May that their own economy was weaker than one year ago. Twenty-one per cent of consumers regarded their own economy stronger at the time of the survey than one year ago. In May, 71 per cent of consumers thought that Finland’s economy was worse than one year earlier, and six per cent saw it as better.

In May, 22 per cent of consumers believed that Finland’s economic situation would improve in the coming twelve months, while 39 per cent of them thought that the country’s economy would deteriorate.

In all, 27 per cent of consumers believed in May that their own economy would improve and 20 per cent of them feared it would worsen over the year.

Consumers' expectations concerning the development of the general unemployment situation in Finland remained unchanged and gloomy in May.

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

Employed consumers (wage and salary earners and self-employed persons) reckoned in May that their personal threat of unemployment or lay-off had grown ever greater. Only three per cent of employed persons believed that their personal threat of unemployment had lessened and as many as 28 per cent thought the risk had grown. On the other hand, 40 per cent of employed persons felt in May that they were not threatened by unemployment or temporary lay-off at all.

In May, consumers’ estimates of inflation at the time of the survey continued its slight decline. By contrast, expectations concerning price changes in one year's time rose. All in all, estimates of inflation were fairly high.

Consumers estimated in May that consumer prices have risen by 5.5 per cent from May last year and would go up by 4.3 per cent over the next year.

Altogether 68 per cent of consumers thought consumer prices have risen much or fairly much over the year, and half, or 50 per cent of them expected prices to rise at least at the same rate over the coming months as well.

In May, the time was still regarded very poor for raising a loan and also for saving.

Only 13 per cent of consumers regarded the time favourable for raising a loan and 38 per cent considered saving worthwhile. However, plans to raise a loan were on a slightly higher level than usual in May. Sixteen per cent of consumers were planning to raise a loan within one year.

Consumers' assessments of their own financial situation remained on the long-term average level in May.

It was estimated that there would be slightly fewer saving possibilities in the coming months than usually. In May, good one-half, or 56 per cent of consumers, had been able to lay aside some money and 70 per cent believed they would be able to do so during the next 12 months.

In May, the time was still considered very unfavourable for buying durable goods. Only 11 per cent of consumers thought the time was favourable for making expensive purchases.

Consumers’ intentions to spend money on durable goods during the next 12 months continued to be very scarce in May.

However, the intentions to make purchases increased slightly compared to the month before.

Ten per cent of consumers estimated they would increase and 42 per cent that they would reduce their spending on durable goods over the next 12 months.

In May, consumers’ plans to buy a car over the next 12 months were slightly more cautious than usual.

Plans to buy a dwelling remained faint: very few consumers had a new dwelling in mind. Intentions to renovate one's own dwelling were also lower in May than on average.

Thirteen 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 were planning to buy a dwelling or build a house. Sixteen per cent of consumers considered spending money on renovating their home during the next 12 months.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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