Finland: Economic growth moderates in first quarter
June 3, 2011
In the first quarter, GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 0.8% over the previous quarter, which represented a deceleration compared to the extraordinary 1.8% expansion tallied in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +1.7% quarter-on-quarter). Compared to the same period last year, the economy increased 5.5% in working-day adjusted terms. The slowdown over the previous quarter mainly came as a result of a weaker external sector, whose contribution to overall growth swung from +4.7 percentage points in the fourth quarter to minus 3.2 percentage points in the first. The deterioration was the result of exports contracting 4.8% (Q4 2010: +6.4% qoq), while imports accelerated to a 2.2% increase (Q4 2010: -4.1% qoq). The domestic sector continued to show signs of improvement. Domestic demand growth picked up from 0.6% in the fourth quarter to 1.4%, mostly driven by stronger fixed investment, which expanded 2.6% (Q4 2010: +0.6% qoq). In contrast, total consumption slowed, as private consumption moderated markedly from a 0.9% increase in the previous quarter to a modest 0.1% expansion, which was only partly offset by government spending accelerating to a 0.7% increase (Q4 2010: +0.5% qoq).