Finland: Pace of GDP contraction accelerates in Q1
June 5, 2014
According to official data released by Statistics Finland on 5 June, the Finnish economy contracted a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% over the previous quarter in Q1, which represented a deterioration over the 0.2% drop tallied in Q4 2013 and was the largest pace of contraction since Q4 2012. In annual terms, GDP fell 0.1% (Q4: -0.3% year-on-year), marking the lowest pace of contraction since Q1 2012.
The quarterly contraction was driven mainly by a deterioration in the external sector. Private consumption rose 1.1% over the previous quarter, which contrasted the 0.5% contraction tallied in Q4 and marked the largest expansion since Q3 2012. Conversely, government consumption swung from Q4’s 0.5% expansion to a 0.7% contraction in Q1. Fixed investment improved from Q4’s 1.7% drop to a 0.3% contraction in Q1.
On the external front, exports contracted a seasonally-adjusted 1.9% in the first quarter, which was below the 0.9% contraction seen in Q4 and was the largest pace of contraction since Q2 2011. Imports contracted 2.9% in Q1, which was below the 2.0% drop seen in the fourth quarter. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to GDP growth inched down from plus 0.4 percentage points in Q4 to plus 0.3 percentage points in Q1.