Lorries and shipping containers at the Port of Vuosaari in Helsinki in April 2022. Statistics Finland has downgraded its estimate of first-quarter economic growth, from 1.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


STATISTICS FINLAND has revised down its estimate of economic growth in the first quarter of the year.

Statistics Finland on Wednesday published preliminary data indicating that the gross domestic product grew by 0.2 per cent from the previous quarter between January and March, a noticeable downgrade from the 1.1 per cent suggested by a flash estimate published in mid-May.

Adjusted for working days, gross domestic product contracted by 0.3 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of the year.

The data reveal that investments decreased significantly, and that export and private consumption volumes largely stayed unchanged from the previous quarter.

While the flash estimate is based on production data from industries, the preliminary data also encompass the development of exports, investments and other indicators, Samu Hakala, a senior statistician at Statistics Finland, explained to Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday.

Jukka Appelqvist, the chief economist at Finland Chamber of Commerce, viewed that the revised data are more credible than the initial estimate, adding that quarter-on-quarter growth of 1.1 per cent was “a bit too good to be true”.

“The estimate of the economic trend was revised down substantially, which aligns better with the prevalent interpretation of the state of the Finnish economy. The growth figures published earlier were suspiciously high. We’re definitely not experiencing an economic boom,” he analysed on Twitter.

Even though the growth estimate was downgraded, it appears that the national economy has come out of the recession that began as the gross domestic product contracted for two consecutive quarters in the second half of last year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT