A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Quarterly national accounts 2019, 2nd quarter

Output of Finland’s national economy grew on a broad front in January to March

In January to March, the seasonally adjusted volume of Finland’s gross domestic product increased by 1.2 per cent from the previous quarter. GDP adjusted for working days grew by 2.7 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2016. Calculated at current prices, gross domestic product adjusted for working days was 4.3 per cent higher than one year ago.

Figure 1. Volume change of GDP from the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

Figure 1. Volume change of GDP from the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

According to preliminary data compiled by Eurostat, GDP in the EU 28 area grew by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous quarter.

Production

The volume of total value added generated by all industries increased by 1.7 per cent from the previous quarter and by 3.6 per cent from twelve months back.

Figure 2. Changes in the volume of value added generated by industries in the first quarter of 2017 compared to one year ago, working-day adjusted, per cent

Figure 2. Changes in the volume of value added generated by industries in the first quarter of 2017 compared to one year ago, working-day adjusted, per cent

Figure 3. Changes in the volume of value added generated by industries in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

Figure 3. Changes in the volume of value added generated by industries in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

In primary production, that is, agriculture, forestry and fishing, the volume of value added grew in the first quarter by 0.7 per cent from the previous quarter and by 5.3 per cent from one year previously. The volume of value added in agriculture declined by 4.2 per cent year-on-year but forestry increased by 8.6 per cent from the level in the first quarter of 2016.

A clear turn for the better took place in manufacturing industries in January to March: Value added in all manufacturing grew by 5.3 per cent from the previous quarter. Output of manufacturing industries increased by 6.6 per cent from the previous quarter and was 10.2 per cent higher than one year ago. The volume of the metal industry (excl. electrical and electronics industry) grew particularly much, being 14.0 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2017 than one year earlier. Other manufacturing industries also showed clear growth as the forest industry is estimated to have grown by 7.9 per cent, the chemical industry by 6.9 per cent and the electrical and electronics industry by 5.2 per cent year-on-year.

The construction industry grew by 2.0 per cent in January to March from the previous quarter and by 7.5 per cent from one year ago.

In service industries, the volume increased by 0.9 per cent from the previous quarter and by 3.1 per cent year-on-year. Compared to one year ago, value added in private services grew by 4.1 per cent but value added in public services fell by 0.8 per cent.

The volume of trade was 1.3 per cent up on the previous quarter and 3.2 per cent up from twelve months back. The growth in motor vehicle trade continued as strong in January to March as the change in value added was 7.4 per cent year-on-year. Wholesale trade grew by 4.3 per cent and retail trade by 2.9 per cent from one year ago.

Imports, exports, consumption and investments

Total demand increased in January to March by 2.3 per cent from the previous quarter and by 4.7 per cent from the first quarter in 2016. All demand items that is exports, consumption and investments were on a clearly higher level than one year earlier.

Figure 4. Changes in the volume of main supply and demand items in the first quarter of 2017 compared to one year ago, working-day adjusted, per cent

Figure 4. Changes in the volume of main supply and demand items in the first quarter of 2017 compared to one year ago, working-day adjusted, per cent

Figure 5. Changes in the volume of main supply and demand items in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

Figure 5. Changes in the volume of main supply and demand items in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted, per cent

The volume of exports grew by 5.0 per cent from the previous quarter. Compared with the volume one year ago, the volume of exports increased by 8.8 per cent in January to March. Exports of goods went up by 12.7 per cent and those of services by 0.5 per cent year-on-year.

The volume of imports contracted by 1.0 per cent from the previous quarter but increased by 3.6 per cent year-on-year. Imports of goods grew by 2.9 per cent and those of services by 5.0 per cent year-on-year.

In the first quarter, the volume of private consumption grew by 1.5 per cent from the previous quarter and by 3.3 per cent from the corresponding quarter in 2015. Public consumption expenditure remained almost unchanged from one year ago.

Gross fixed capital formation, or investments, grew by 3.9 per cent from the previous quarter and by 9.1 per cent year-on-year. Private investments grew by 11.4 per cent but public investments decreased by 1.5 per cent from one year back.

Investments in residential buildings improved by 7.8 per cent and investments in non-residential buildings by 11.1 per cent from one year ago. Investments in civil engineering grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year. The volume of gross fixed capital formation in machinery, equipment and transport equipment increased by 16.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2016.

Employment, wages and salaries and national income

In the first quarter, the number of employed persons increased by 0.1 per cent from the previous quarter and by 0.4 per cent year-on-year. The number of hours worked in the national economy grew by 1.1 per cent from the previous quarter and by 0.8 per cent from one year back.

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate for the January to March period was 9.3 per cent. In the corresponding period of last year it stood at 9.6 per cent.

In the January to March period, the nominal wages and salaries bill of the national economy grew by 0.9 per cent from the previous quarter and by 2.1 per cent year-on-year. Social contributions paid by employers declined by 5.9 per cent from last year.

The operating surplus (net), which in business bookkeeping corresponds roughly with operating profit, grew by as much as 20.1 per cent from twelve months back. Gross national income at current prices was 3.1 per cent higher than one year previously.

The available data

These preliminary quarterly data are based on the source information on economic development that had become available by 24 May 2017. The annual level data for 1990 to 2015 correspond with the National Accounts data released on 31 January 2017, except for those on the rest of the world sector (imports, exports, primary income from/to the rest of the world), which may have become revised.

The National Accounts for 2015 and 2016 will be released on 13 July 2017. Then the time series of Quarterly National Accounts 1990N1 to 2017N1 will be benchmarked to the new time series of the National Accounts. The benchmarked data will be available in the database tables of the Quarterly National Accounts starting from the release date.

National Accounts data concerning the second quarter of 2017 will be released on 1 September 2017, when data for previous quarters will also be revised. A flash estimate on GDP development for April to June will be released in connection with the June data of the Trend Indicator of Output on 15 August 2017.

Due to the benchmarking and seasonal adjustment methods, quarterly data in the entire time series may become slightly revised in connection with each release. However, the largest revisions take place during the two to three years following the release on a quarter, because final annual accounts data are published at a lag of around two years from the end of the statistical reference year. Seasonally adjusted and trend time series always become revised against new observations irrespective of whether the original time series becomes revised or not.

The quality description can be accessed at (in Finnish): http://www.tilastokeskus.fi/til/ntp/laa.html .

Methodological description of Quarterly National Accounts.

Source: National Accounts 2017, 1st quarter. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Samu Hakala 029 551 3756, Veli-Pekka Karvinen 029 551 2667, kansantalous.suhdanteet@stat.fi

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen


Updated 1.6.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Quarterly national accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-9765. 1st quarter 2017, Output of Finland’s national economy grew on a broad front in January to March . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ntp/2017/01/ntp_2017_01_2017-06-01_kat_001_en.html