Finland: Monthly economic activity posts quickest growth since April 2022 in March
Economic activity rose 1.0% month on month in seasonally adjusted terms in March (February: -0.8% mom). March’s figure marked the best reading since April 2022. Looking at the details of the release, March’s pickup was broad-based, with the primary sector—which includes the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing subsectors—the secondary sector and the services sector all gaining steam from the previous month.
On an annual basis, economic activity rose at a faster rate of 1.7% in March (February: +0.1% yoy), the best result since August 2022. At the same time, annual average economic activity growth fell to 1.8% in March (February: +2.0% yoy), pointing to a worsening trend.
Meanwhile, a flash estimate revealed that seasonally adjusted GDP grew by about 1.1% quarter on quarter in Q1, up from Q4 2022’s 0.4% decline. Q1’s result marked the highest growth rate since Q2 2021. Ahead of a comprehensive data release, the economy will have benefitted in the quarter from cooling consumer and producer inflation, a lower unemployment rate and less pessimistic consumer confidence. Nevertheless, the external sector likely weighed on overall growth: Merchandise exports declined month on month in January–March.