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Finnish economy starts year in mostly positive mode

The latest numbers from the central statistics bureau show a mixed picture of the Finnish economy so far this year.

Mies työskentelee rakennustyömaalla.
The construction sector held steady compared to early 2018. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The output of Finland's economy rose in the first three months of the year compared to the same period of 2018 – but the March figure was marginally lower than a month earlier, says Statistics Finland.

In the first quarter of 2019, GDP grew by 2.2 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary figures released by the central statistics office on Wednesday. Compared to the last quarter of 2018, seasonally adjusted GDP nudged up by 6-tenths of a percent.

Adjusted for the number of working days, output in March was 1.1 percent higher than during the same month of 2018. However it was down 3-tenths of a percent from February.

Farm and forestry production dips

Statistics Finland also upgraded its previous preliminary estimate of February's output from 1.7 to 2.5 percent year-on-year, adjusted for working days.

Story continues after photo

Pasi Kuoppamäki
Pasi Kuoppamäki Image: Yle

Pasi Kuoppamäki, chief economist at the Finnish division of Danske Bank, says the figures show that the national economy was in reasonably good shape in the first months of the year. He noted that the March numbers suggest a slightly diminishing pace, though.

The year-on-year growth in March was driven by services. Industry and construction remained basically unchanged, while there was a decline in primary production such as agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Meanwhile the number of people working rose by about 1.5 percent from a year before.

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