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Finland Consumer Confidence Weakest Since April 2020; Industrial Morale Deteriorates

Finland’s consumer confidence deteriorated to the lowest since April 2020, and industrial morale was the weakest since May last year as expectations eroded sharply due to the war in Ukraine, separate survey results showed on Monday.

The consumer sentiment index decreased to -10.5 in March from 0.5 in February, Statistics Finland said.

The latest reading was the weakest since April 2020, when it was -13.9.

Only in April 2020 and in the end of 2008, the consumer confidence were weaker than in March, the agency said.

Data was collected from 1,014 persons between March 1 and 20.

All the four components weakened in March, expectations concerning Finland’s economy in 12 months deteriorated most sharply.

The expectations index crashed to -31.0 from -3.1 in the previous month.

Separately, data from the Confederation of Finnish Industries showed that the manufacturing confidence index fell to 15 in March from a revised 21.0 in February. The reading was above the long-term average of 1.

The construction confidence indicator fell to 4 in March from 11 in the previous month. The reading was above the long-term average of -6.

The service sector confidence indicator weakened to 14 in March from 18 in the previous month.

The retail trade confidence fell eight points to -6 in March from 2 in the prior month, which was above the long-term average of -1.

Operating environment has become very difficult for businesses due to high uncertainty, high inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war, EK Director Sami Pakarinen said. Hiring intentions in the construction sector cooled rapidly as the war began, the official added.

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