The number of new industrial orders grew in December, while for 2018 growth remained at a minus, according to Statistics Finland.
Industrial output grew by 3.7 percent in 2018 compared with 2017. Industrial output has increased for three years in a row now. December 2018 output grew by 3.3 percent compared with December 2017, whereas November 2018 output rose by 1.3 percent.
The official statistics agency pointed out that despite the increase, total industrial output is still 9 percent below what it was the year before the financial crisis of 2008.
New industrial orders grew in December 2018 by 6.1 percent over the previous December, while overall growth for 2018 remained negative as orders for the entire year decreased by 1.8 percent.
In December, metal sector companies received the most new orders. Growth was also reported in the paper and carton products sector.
Statistics Finland said that the new industrial order statistics for the year feature typical monthly fluctuations. Last year new orders rose in August by 25 percent whereas in November they decreased by 37.4 percent.