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The business climate in the Helsinki region remains bleak, with companies predicting poor performance in terms of revenue, profitability, and employment over the next three months, according to the latest Economic Pulse survey conducted by the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce. This somber outlook persists from December, showing no signs of improvement.

A significant 39% of businesses surveyed indicated that the wave of political strikes expected in 2024 could diminish their ability to offer employment opportunities.

This comes at a time when the region's companies already face negative forecasts across all key metrics - revenue, profitability, employment prospects, and overall economic outlook.

"Prospects are almost as dim as they were in December during the last Economic Pulse measurement. However, a silver lining is that employment outlooks have not deteriorated as much as one might expect given the current economic climate," stated Markku Lahtinen, Director of Advocacy at the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce.

The survey revealed that while 39% of businesses fear political strikes will limit their job offerings, 47% expect their recruitment levels to remain unchanged, and a mere 4% believe strikes could potentially increase their employment capabilities. Ten percent of respondents were unsure of the strikes' impact.

"It appears that without the political strikes, there would be at least moderate conditions for an increase in labor demand. Political strikes, combined with rising labor costs and the expectations loaded into the autumn's labor market negotiations, are forcing companies to exercise caution and postpone recruitment and investment decisions," Lahtinen added.

In open responses, CEOs from the region expressed concern over the long-term deterioration of their employment capabilities. Many view political strikes as a significant obstacle, with some calling for their complete prohibition.

The Economic Pulse survey of the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce garnered responses from 346 CEOs of member companies, conducted between March 18 and March 25, 2024. The Chamber boasts around 7,000 members and covers 21 municipalities in the Uusimaa region.

The balance figure, calculated by subtracting the percentage of negative responses from positive ones, can range from +100 to -100, indicating either an optimistic or pessimistic outlook on the economy, respectively.

Conducted thrice yearly, the next Economic Pulse survey is scheduled for publication in August, following the most recent release on April 3, 2024, at 7:00 AM, available at www.helsinki.chamber.fi.

HT

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