Economic Trends/Outlook in Finland

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Economic Overview

Often used as an example for its economic performances and its competitiveness and innovative successes, Finland is one of the countries in the euro zone which has been hit the hardest by the crisis, due to a collapse of exports. After shrinking by 8% In 2009, the economy rebounded in 2010, with an estimated growth of 2.4%. The recovery was driven by the processing industry and semi-furnished goods stimulated by both foreign and domestic demand. It is expected that the economy will not return to its pre-recession growth rate before the end of 2012.

The crisis and stimulus measures had a profound and durable impact on public finances and debt levels. The main obstacle which the government now must deal with is therefore to combine measures to promote growth and measures allowing for the rebalancing of accounts. In the more long-term perspective, the aging population is also a source of future pressure on spending. Structural reforms focused on increasing productivity and employment offer are therefore necessary.

Its GDP being among the highest in the world, Finland offers a high living standard. The distribution of wealth is fair, however, social inequalities have risen in the recent years. Affected by the crisis, the unemployment rate has also increased considerably, reaching around 9% today.

Main Indicators 20092010201120122013
GDP (billions USD) 238.44239.23e260.38e271.48e280.96e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -8.23.1e3.1e2.5e2.2e
GDP per Capita (USD) 44,556e44,489e48,188e49,999e51,498e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) 0.80.2e0.7e0.1e-0.8e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 43.848.4e50.8e52.7e55.0e
Inflation Rate (%) 1.61.7e3.0e2.1e2.0e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 8.38.4e8.0e7.8e7.7e
Current Account (billions USD) 3.30e4.85e4.51e4.49e-
Current Account (in % of GDP) 1.4e2.0e1.8e1.8e-

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture represents less than 3% of the current Finnish GNP and employes less than 5% of the population. Because of the unfavorable climate, agricultural development is limited to the maintainace of a certain level of self-sufficiency in basic products. Cereal production dominates, well ahead of milk production and animal husbandry. Finland's accession to the EU has further accelerated the process of restructuring and downsizing of this sector.

Forestry is traditionally well-developed: Finland exports a rich variety of products randing from simple wooden products to high-tech tags and labels and including paper, cardboard, packaging etc. Other key industrial sectors are metal production, mechanical engineering and electronic goods. Finland specializes in exporting information and communication technologies, Nokia becoming the world leading manufacturer of mobile handsets.

The service sector employs almost 70% of the population and accounts for almost 65% of the GDP.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 4.5 25.4 69.5
Value Added (in % of GDP) 2.7 28.2 69.2
Value Added (Annual % Change) -0.6 -16.3 -3.5

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Finland, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Mostly free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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