In total, Finnish households have dramatically decreased spending on consumer goods. We would like to ask why.
According to the Finnish consumer confidence indicator from January 2014, only 14 per cent of consumers fear that their own economy would worsen over the year. Also, Nordea Bank’s recent study shows that majority of Finnish households earning over 35,000 euros per year don’t feel they have less money to spend than a year before. These studies show that most consumers would have money to spend, if they wanted to.
We don’t believe that all the money goes to foreign online stores instead of Finnish retail shops as public opinion speculates. We rather believe that the general attitudes toward excessive spending have changed after the 2008 banking crisis, maybe for good.
In addition, the public sentiment in Finland is very concerned about national debt and our six-pack government is looking more distressed week after week. This affects consumers making them cautious and the shop-till-you-drop days are over.
It is true that unemployment has risen, tax burden is increasing and there is a lot to worry about. However, there are still plenty of households that are doing just fine. So where does the money go?
We claim that, in the competition of consumers’ money, the winner is the financial sector. Finnish consumer confidence indicator states that 76 per cent of all consumers believed they would be able to put money aside for savings during the next 12 months. Last year, the most common investment targets were mutual funds, also the number of private stock holders has increased.
Brothers and Sisters, did you stop buying because you started saving? Maybe the new megatrend is saving for a rainy day.