The Finnish economy is expected to grow 3% in 2021, following a challenging period for the global economy. Economic growth in Finland is primarily driven by increased employment and personal consumption. This post will explore these factors in more detail and consider potential risk factors that could slow growth.

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Up until recently, online shopping was possible only if you had a credit or debit card from Visa, Mastercard or other credit card companies or an account in an online “bank” such as PayPal. Some people may not want to, or be able to use a credit card for several reasons.

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Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala poses at her home in Potomac, Maryland, near Washington DC, as she was confirmed as the first woman and first African leader of the beleaguered World Trade Organization,on February 15, 2021. - LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Lisandra Flach, the Director of the Ifo Center for International Economics, called the upcoming election of a new director-general for the World Trade Organization a “unique opportunity.” After the difficult Trump years, she said, there is now a chance to breathe new life into international trade negotiations and achieve a more stable system that is not based on unilateral relationships. Trust must be rebuilt, Flach said in Munich on Monday.

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Paper and cardboard exports decreased by 18.8 per cent.

According to preliminary statistics provided by Finnish Customs, the value of Finland’s exports of goods decreased by 11.9 per cent in 2020. The value of exports amounted to 57.3 billion euros. The value of imports dropped by 9.9 per cent. The value of imports of goods amounted to 59.4 billion euros. In 2019, exports increased by 2.2 per cent, whereas imports decreased by 1.1 per cent. In 2018, both imports and exports climbed by 6.6 per cent.

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Photo: Helsinki Marketing / Jussi Hellsten

The ten teams selected for the final phase of Helsinki Energy Challenge have submitted their final competition entries. The finalist entries include many different proposals on how Helsinki can stop using coal for heat production as sustainably as possible by 2029.

The finalist teams were selected in November 2020, after which the teams participated in the co-creation phase of the challenge competition.

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OP Financial Group estimates that about 750 bankruptcies that were avoided last year due to financial support and protection against creditors provided to companies. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE NUMBER of bankruptcy filings will rise substantially from the previous year as the bankruptcy proceedings avoided due to measures adopted to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic are carried out, predicts OP Financial Group.

Joona Widgrén, an economist at OP Financial Group, on Tuesday pointed out that last year the number of bankruptcy filings was about 500 lower than the average in the 2010s.

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Household indebtedness has risen and it is increasingly concentrated to a small share of households. / Lehtikuva

Automatic stabilization and additional support by the government helped to limit economic losses in 2020. The chosen support measures for 2021, including providing financing to fight the corona crisis, are adequate.

We need a credible plan for maintaining fiscal space in the future after the appropriate stimulus.

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In addition to dreamers, five per cent of Finns intend to buy a hybrid or electric car this year, as shown by a survey commissioned by Pohjola Insurance. The electric revolution of motoring has only just started, and major growth is expected during the current decade.  

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Volkswagen (VW) cars presented at the storage facility auto tower of German carmaker Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Lehtikuva

The Russia sanctions are affecting German industry in particular, as shown by a survey of 862 companies conducted by the ifo Institute. “Machinery and car manufacturers, the chemical and electrical sectors, and logistics are the most frequently affected,” write Jasmin Gröschl, Deputy Director of the ifo Center for International Economics, and her co-author Feodora Teti in an article for the journal ifo Schnelldienst. Overall, eastern German companies are more affected than western German companies. The sanctions result in increased bureaucracy that hinders business with Russia.

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Lack of foreign visitors has been hard especially on hotels in Helsinki and other Nordic capitals, writes Helsingin Sanomat. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

SCANDIC, the largest hotel chain in Finland and the Nordics, on Friday revealed that its average occupancy rate collapsed to roughly 15 per cent of its usual level for the final month of last year due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the strict restrictions adopted to manage it.

Occupancy for the final quarter of last year thereby stood at around 23 per cent, some 13 percentage points lower than earlier last year.

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