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Consumers' confidence about their own outlook hits new low, statistics agency says

Confidence in the Finnish economy among the business community has also dropped, according to lobby group the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).

Shoppers at the Verkkokauppa retail store in Helsinki on Black Friday last week. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

Consumers' view of their own economic outlook in November fell to the lowest level ever on record, according to Statistics Finland.

The number-crunching agency began collecting consumer confidence data in 1995.

Its latest consumer confidence indicator (CCI), published on Monday, stood at -16.9 in November 2022, having been -17.6 in October and -18.3 in September.

"These three figures were the weakest in their measuring history 1995 to 2022," the agency noted.

In November last year the CCI stood at 1.2, while the long-term average is -2.0.

Statistics Finland further found that expectations among consumers concerning Finland's economy were also very weak.

Despite this, expectations about the Finnish economy did improve slightly from last month, although confidence remained significantly lower compared to the same period last year. 

Confidence up in retail sector, but falls everywhere else

Meanwhile, lobby group the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) noted that commercial confidence in the Finnish economy has fallen in all industries except in the retail sector, according to a press release issued on Monday.

This drop in business confidence points to a broad-based economic slowdown, it noted. Manufacturing orders have notably fallen below a level that is considered normal, and the construction sector is also struggling as interest rates rise rapidly, according to the EK.

"Services are of great importance for employment, which in turn is directly reflected in the retail sector, which was the only main sector to see a rise in confidence in November," EK Director Sami Pakarinen said in the statement.

EK also found that confidence among manufacturing companies fell in November, in addition to the confidence drop experienced by firms in the construction and services sectors.

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