Finland: Economic activity notches quickest growth in over two decades in May
Economic activity expanded markedly in May, with growth clocking in at 9.0% in year-on-year working-day adjusted terms, accelerating from April’s 7.1% increase. While the result was partly flattered by a favorable base effect, the reading still marked the strongest growth rate since November 2000, signaling an improvement in underlying momentum.
May’s upturn was broad based, with output growth in the services and secondary production sectors gaining notable traction. Moreover, the primary sector—which includes the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing subsectors—also expanded at a quicker pace in May compared to the prior month.
Consequently, the trend improved sizably, with annual average variation of economic activity coming in at minus 0.9% in May, up from April’s minus 2.3%. Meanwhile, on a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, economic activity growth eased to 0.4% in May (April: +1.7% mom).
Reflecting on the economy’s performance in the second quarter, following Q1’s mild contraction, Daniel Kral, senior economist at Oxford Economics, noted:
“Most of the Q1 drags on growth should reverse in Q2. Retail and recreation mobility have risen sharply since March, showing consumers are responding to easing restrictions. Consumer sentiment at 4.6 in June is the highest since early-2018 with large improvements in assessments personal finances and the domestic economy. Investment should remain supported by strong industrial turnover and business sentiment is continuing to rise.”