The Finnish economy appears to not have grown as much as expected in 2018, suggests revised preliminary data published on Thursday by Statistics Finland. (Anni Reenpää – Lehtikuva)

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THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT of Finland grew last year considerably slower than estimated only a few months ago.

Statistics Finland on Thursday reported that it has revised its estimate of growth in the volume of gross domestic product in 2018 from 2.3 to 1.7 per cent, representing a drop of 26 per cent from the estimate published in March.

The downward revision is attributable primarily to new annual data on corporate purchases, which increased the consumption of intermediate goods, according to the statistical bureau.

“The figures for last year have contracted brutally since the publication of quarterly accounting information three weeks ago,” Jukka Appelqvist, an economist at Danske Bank, commented on Twitter.

The revised growth statistics, he gauged, are evidence that the period of most rapid growth is over in Finland.

Timo Hirvonen, the chief economist at S Bank, pointed out that also labour productivity measured in value added deteriorated more than anticipated during the course of last year – by 1.3 per cent from the previous year.

The lack of productivity growth does not bode well for employment growth, added Reijo Heiskanen, the chief economist at OP Financial Group. “This is typically a bad omen for employment growth, and so it’s likely that employment figures will not improve from the languid start to the year,” he said.

Their sentiments were echoed by Timo Vesala, the chief economist at Municipality Finance: “If or when the focus shifts more emphatically to improving productivity, employment growth may come to a halt.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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