Report: Finns and other Nordic consumers feel relatively secure despite recession
Finnish consumers feel that their economic situation is even more stable than at the same time last autumn. This is the slightly surprising finding of a study conducted by the global financial security company Genworth Financial.
When asked about financial difficulties, a significantly larger number of Finns than last year said that they had not met with any in the past twelve months.
In a European comparison of how secure the consumers rated their economic situation, Finland was ranked fourth among 14 nations.
All in all, this year’s Genworth Vulnerability Index Report shows that economic vulnerability has diminished throughout Europe since 2008.
Finland’s ranking in the comparison remained unchanged from the previous comparison.
Of all the Europeans, the Norwegians felt most secure with regard to the stability of their economy. The least confident with their economy were the Irish.
According to the Genworth Report, most Finns can be classified as “circumspect”. This group has not really experienced any difficulties in the past year and believes that the economic situation will remain more or less unchanged.
Eight percent of the Finns were regarded as “financially vulnerable”. These people saw their future as bleak, and had experienced economic hardships often.
Fathoming people’s economic sentiments is considered important, for through such studies consumers’ buying enthusiasm can be predicted. Private consumption is one of the driving forces of the economy as a whole.
According to Ville Raunio, Managing Director at Genworth Financial Finland, the report’s findings can be considered surprisingly positive.
According to Raunio, what has increased the Finns’ feeling of security is the fact that the recession has caused people to moderate their consumption and increase their willingness to save.
The remarkably low interest level has also had a positive effect on how people with mortgages perceive the stability of their personal economy.
“But of course the growing unemployment figures may shift things downwards a bit for next year”, Raunio continues.
Head of research Anu Raijas from the National Consumer Research Centre points out that the report’s findings can be interpreted in various ways.
In Raijas’ view it is possible that the Finns have adopted perhaps a needlessly positive attitude towards the future, as has been customary in previous such studies.
“For ordinary people, the recession becomes concrete only when they have been given their notice and the dismissal slip is in their hands.”
The Genworth Index of consumer vulnerability in 14 different European countries was now published for the third time.
For the first time, the annual index was extended beyond Europe to the USA.
A thousand people were interviewed in each country.
The Genworth Index