Consumer confidence levels are on the rise in Finland, according to the latest figures released by the state-run number cruncher Statistics Finland.
The consumer confidence indicator (CCI) -- which provides an insight into households' future consumption and saving plans -- increased to -1.6 in July, having been at -3.9 in June and -9.0 in May. The long term average is -1.8.
The data are based on Statistics Finland's Consumer Confidence Survey, to which 1,034 people resident in Finland responded between 1 and 19 July.
In particular, people’s expectations of their own as well as Finland’s economy strengthened in July compared to June, and respondents expressed an increased intention to spend money on durable goods.
More consumers than usual considered the option of borrowing, and a record number planned to buy a home within the next 12 months. Home renovations and the purchase of a car were widely planned.
The CCI figure for July is also higher than it was at the same time last year.
"Compared with the corresponding period last year, expectations concerning the economy were now brighter and consumption intentions were higher," Statistics Finland wrote in the release.
The CCI measures consumers' expectations of economic development over the coming year, and it is considered one of the most accurate indicators of future trends.
Many fear unemployment
Despite the uptick in consumer sentiment, respondents’ expectations of the employment situation in Finland improved only very slightly in July, and overall expectations remain weak.
The fear of becoming unemployed in the near future was high among employees and entrepreneurs, and this figure remains unchanged from June.