Finland: Current account swings to deficit in December
The current account recorded a EUR 0.2 billion deficit in December, deteriorating from the EUR 0.7 billion surplus clocked in November (December 2021: EUR 1.0 billion surplus). Meanwhile, in the 12 months leading up to December, the current account deficit widened to EUR 11.3 billion, compared to the EUR 10.2 billion deficit recorded in November.
The merchandise trade balance worsened from the previous month, recording a EUR 0.2 billion shortfall in December (November 2022: EUR 1.0 billion surplus). Merchandise exports contracted 9.4% on an annual basis in December (November: +25.7% year on year). December’s outturn marked the largest fall since August 2020. Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 0.4% in annual terms in December (November: +13.4% yoy), marking the weakest result since February 2021.
Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:
“We forecast a current-account deficit of 1.2% of GDP in 2023. The trade balance will remain in surplus throughout the forecast period. The primary income balance will remain in surplus in 2023 as Finnish investors divest from emerging markets. The services deficit will remain steady. We expect the current account to return small deficits up to 2027.”