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GDP up 1.9 percent in 2016, slight improvement in disposable income

Finnish gross domestic producttotalled 216 billion euros in Finland in 2016, according to new figures. This was an almost two percentage improvement on the previous year. The data also show a slight rise in householders' disposable income.

Hitsari työssään.
Image: Niko Mannonen / Yle

Revised preliminary data from state-owned number cruncher Statistics Finland shows that the Finnish economy grew by 1.9 percent last year, a 0.5 percent improvement on the original numbers reported by the organisation for 2016 in March.

New data on intermediate goods used as production inputs in various industries changed the figures for the better, say the statisticians.

The sectors showing the most improvement were construction (just short of 10 percent), and agriculture, forestry and fishing (8.1 percent). Businesses, service companies, IT specialists and real estate professionals also showed an increase of between 3.9 and 4.7 percent in value added.

Private investments were also up by 7.9 percent in the 2016 figures, while government investments rose by 3.9 percent. Construction investments in machinery and equipment led this trend, but R&D and IT investments were down slightly.

Exports increased by 1.3 percent in 2016 and import volume grew by 4.4 percent.

Families spending more

Demand in the national economy was primarily fired by a boost in household consumption in 2016, up by 1.9 percent.

During the last year, the disposable income of Finnish households grew by 1.2 percent in real terms. Adjusted disposable income, which includes welfare services in the areas of education, health and social services, grew by 0.8 percent in the same period.

Although the numbers are small, statistics from 2016 indicate that household wage and salary income went up by 1.5 percent last year, and social benefits rose by 1.8 percent. The increase in social benefits can be attributed to the growing number of pensioners in Finland.

Things are looking up

Statistics Finland also revised its GDP data for the year 2015, in light of new information. The new assessment shows that two years ago, the GDP remained stagnant, holding steady at the previous year’s level.

The Ministry of Finance predicts that the Finnish economy will grow by 2.4 percent in 2017, while the Bank of Finland has predicted a slightly lower improvement of 2.1 percent.

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