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Press release 12.5.2005

GDP slightly growing in March

According to the seasonally adjusted series of the Monthly Indicator of GDP calculated by Statistics Finland, the volume of GDP grew by 0.1 per cent in March from the previous month. The trend of GDP also indicates equal growth for the economy.

Volume of GDP in 1995-2005, trend and seasonally adjusted series

The series of the Monthly Indicator of GDP are seasonally adjusted with the Tramo/Seats method. The latest observations of the series adjusted for seasonal and random variation (seasonally adjusted and trend series) become revised with new observations in seasonal adjustment methods.

GDP almost the same as in March 2004

The volume of GDP rose by 0.2 per cent in March 2005 compared with the previous year's March. Of the six main industries of the Monthly Indicator manufacturing and primary production declined. In March 2005 the number of working days was two days lower than in the corresponding month of the previous year. Adjusted for working days, the volume of GDP grew by 1.9 per cent.

Percentage changes of GDP from the previous year's corresponding month

Industrial output went down by 3.4 per cent from March 2004. The output volumes of the whole metal industry and of its sub-sector, the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment both declined by 4 per cent. Output in the wood and paper industry fell by 2 per cent and in other manufacturing by 4 per cent. Energy supply decreased by 2 per cent.

Sale volumes of trade increased by 2 per cent. Sales of motor vehicles and wholesale trade both grew by 2 per cent and retail trade by 3 per cent.

The volume of primary production fell by 6 per cent from the level of March 2004. Meat production went down by 12 per cent and milk production by 3 per cent. The volume of fellings declined by 5 per cent.

Transport and construction both increased by 1 per cent. Output in other service industries was 3 per cent higher than in March 2004.

The Monthly Indicator of GDP is based on twelve monthly series on different industries of the economy. The series are summed up by weighting. The purpose of the Monthly Indicator is to anticipate the development of the quarterly gross domestic product calculated later with more detailed data.

GDP fell slightly in the first quarter from the previous quarter

Seasonally adjusted and calendar adjusted (adjusted for working and trading days) GDP is estimated to have grown by 2 per cent in the January to March period of 2005 compared with the corresponding period of 2004. Examined by the original output volumes, the change from the previous year's quarter is 1.3 per cent. From the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted GDP is estimated to have fallen by 0.2 per cent.

Quarterly national accounts with more extensive GDP data will be published on 9 June 2005. The Flash estimate of GDP on the next quarter will be made public on 11 August 2005.

Source: Monthly Indicator of GDP 2005, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Veli-Pekka Karvinen +358 9 1734 2667