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Country Forecast Finland April 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Finland April 2018 Updater

  • April 2018
  • ID: 5377282
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • Finland's government is led by the Centre Party (KESK), the centre-right National Coalition Party (Conservatives, or KOK) and Blue Reform, a splinter party from The Finns (PS), a far-right party. The PS was ejected from the coalition in June 2017 after it elected a hardline nationalist, Jussi Halla-aho, as its leader. In response, 19 PS members of parliament defected from the party and formed Blue Reform, which now supports the government.
  • The governing coalition has a smaller working majority in parliament (six seats, down from 24) than when it included the PS. However, Blue Reform has so far had a more stable relationship with the KESK and the KOK. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the new coalition to last its full legislative term, to 2019.
  • The government deficit has declined from 3.2% of GDP in 2014 to 1.8% in 2016, and national source data point to a further sharp contraction in 2017, to 0.6%. We expect the budget balance to record small deficits throughout our forecast period (2018-22). The public debt/GDP ratio stood at 63.1% in 2016. We forecast that it will decline in the coming years, falling below 60% in 2020.
  • We expect real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2018, a slowdown from growth of 2.6% in 2017. We forecast average annual growth of 2.1% in 2019-22, supported by solid domestic demand. The external environment became more favourable in 2017 as the euro zone economy expanded more rapidly and exports to Russia benefited from the rouble's appreciation. However, we expect the external environment to weigh slightly on economic growth in 2018, reflecting a pick-up in imports and a moderation in global trade volumes.
  • International oil prices have recovered following their sharp decline in late 2014, but domestic price pressures remain relatively weak. After a return to inflation in 2016 it averaged 0.8% in 2017. We forecast that inflation will pick up marginally, to 0.9% in 2018 and 1.9% on average in 2019-22.
  • The current account recorded a small surplus of 0.6% of GDP in 2017, after registering a deficit of 1.1% of GDP in 2016. The surplus can be attributed to an increase in the goods trade surplus and a narrowing of the services deficit. We forecast a current-account surplus of 0.9% this year and surpluses equivalent to 1.2% on average in 2019-22.

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