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HS: A third of Finns tightening purse strings

A new poll finds that a third of residents have become more cautious spenders since the coronavirus crisis.

Storyvillen terassilla on tuolit ja aurinkovarjot valmiina ravintoloiden koronaviruspandemian rajoitusten lieventymiseen.
Restaurants and bars are set to welcome customers on Monday, 1 June. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Coronavirus is changing how some residents choose to spend their money, according to a new poll by daily Helsingin Sanomat.

When asked about their personal finances, 60 percent of respondents said the coronavirus outbreak had not changed their money habits; however, a third said they were handling their finances more carefully.

Meri Obstbaum, head of forecasting at the Bank of Finland, told HS the poll’s results were significant, saying consumer uncertainty could slow economic recovery.

This week preliminary data released by Statistics Finland indicated that the Finnish economy has entered a long-predicted recession, as exports fell by 7.4 percent and gross domestic product (GDP) was down 0.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter.

HS' poll found that nearly half of Finns believe the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic have yet to hit Finland. Forty-two percent of respondents said the crisis would still deepen in Finland. A quarter said Finland was past the peak while 23 percent had no opinion on the matter.

Finns approve of administration

The majority of respondents--67 percent--said they approved of actions taken by the government to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in Finland.

However, around a quarter said the administration was too late to react, whereas three percent said measures were rolled out too early.

Seventy-six percent of respondents said 1 June was a good time to reopen restaurants.

The poll was conducted at the end of May and carries a 3.1-percent margin of error both ways.

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