Having accounted for roughly 20 per cent of Finnish exports between January and August 2021, the forest industry is expected to be one of the main drivers as Finland recovers from the downturn set off by the coronavirus pandemic, views Etla Economic Research. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)


THE RECOVERY of Finland from the coronavirus pandemic-induced economic slowdown will be supported by the forest, vehicle battery and other electronics and electrotechnical industries, forecasts Etla Economic Research.

Question marks continue to surround the service industry, however.

Etla published its latest sectoral review last week, observing that a number of sectors have returned onto a growth trajectory.

The volume of wood product exports is forecast to increase by 15 per cent and that of paper product exports by 10 per cent in 2021. The forest industry accounted for about one-fifth of Finnish exports between January and August.

The exports of motor vehicles are similarly to gain momentum, having accounted for almost seven per cent of exports over the first eight months of the year.

“An estimated half of the output of the automotive plant in Uusikaupunki is bound for the United States via Germany. Valmet Automotive is about to complete its second battery factory and in the coming years revenue from battery systems could match revenue from automotive manufacturing,” told Birgitta Berg-Andersson, a researcher at Etla.

The exports of ships and aircraft is also forecast to increase by more than 20 per cent this year. Total industrial output, meanwhile, is to creep up by four per cent this year and three per cent next year, according to Etla.

The recovery of the pandemic-ravaged hotel and restaurant sector will peak next year but will not be completed until 2023. The outlook for the sector is also uncertain due to the possibility of the pandemic flaring up again.

“The recovery of the hotel and restaurant sector is indeed progressing at a solid clip, as long as there are no major surprises. The recovery timetable for one of the other sufferers, the culture and events sector, remains a question mark,” conceded Markku Lehmus, the director of forecasting at Etla.

The situation in the commerce sector should normalise during the course of next year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT