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Published: 8 April 2009

General government financial assets continued to contract in the fourth quarter of 2008

General government net financial assets (the difference between financial assets and liabilities) continued to contract in the last quarter of 2008 largely due to the holding losses caused by the strong drop in share prices. Net financial assets decreased by EUR 20.2 billion in October-December which put general government net financial assets at EUR 93.6 billion. Central government net financial assets fell by EUR 9.5 billion, those of social security funds by EUR 0.9 billion and those of local government by EUR 1.8 billion.

According to financial accounts data, total debt of general government grew by EUR 9.0 billion in the last quarter of 2008 which increased the total amount of general government debt to EUR 62 billion. An increase in short-term debt caused EUR 4.9 billion of this growth. Over the same period local government debt increased to EUR 18 billion, that is, it grew by EUR 0.7 billion.

General government net financial assets have increased nearly without exception since 2003, but their volume turned to a decline in the third quarter of 2008. During the year 2008 general government net financial assets contracted by as much as EUR 34 billion. Central government net financial assets were positive as from the start of 2006 but turned to minus EUR 0.6 billion in the last quarter of 2008. On account of social security funds the net financial assets of Finnish general government continue to be quite large when compared with other EU countries.

The financial assets of employment pension funds and other social security funds have diminished by nearly EUR 18 billion since the beginning of the year. At the end of the year their value fell to the level where they were three years back, or EUR 91 billion. The fall came largely from share and mutual fund holding losses, which amounted to nearly EUR 20 billion. The value of central government’s share holdings also fell by EUR 15 billion in the year.

General government net financial assets

General government net financial assets

Source: General government financial accounts, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Matti Okko (09) 1734 3341, Marika Männistö (09) 1734 2324, rahoitus.tilinpito@stat.fi

Director in charge: Ari Tyrkkö

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Updated 08.04.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): General government financial accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-1964. 4th quarter 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 15.6.2024].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/jyrt/2008/04/jyrt_2008_04_2009-04-08_tie_001_en.html