Finland: Growth accelerates in the third quarter amid stronger external sector
December 5, 2011
In the third quarter, GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.9% over the previous quarter. The print came in well above the feeble 0.1% increase recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: +0.6% quarter-on-quarter). Compared to the same period last year, the economy grew 2.7% in working-day adjusted terms, up from the 1.9% increase tallied in the previous quarter. The improvement over the previous quarter was entirely underpinned by favourable developments in the external sector. Exports of goods and services grew 2.4% over the previous three-month period, which contrasted a 6.1% decline in the second quarter. In contrast, imports contracted by 1.7%, further down from the 1.0% decline seen in the previous quarter. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth swung from minus 2.5 percentage points in the second quarter to plus 1.7 percentage points in the third quarter. Domestic demand swung from a 1.2% increase in the second quarter to a 0.6% contraction in the third quarter. Total consumption decelerated to a 0.2% increase (Q2: +0.7% qoq) due to a 0.5% contraction in government consumption (Q2: +0.1% qoq) and slower growth in private consumption (Q2: +1.0% qoq; Q3: +0.5% qoq). Meanwhile, fixed investment expanded 1.6%, up from the 0.7% increase observed in the second quarter.