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Fast Comment FinlandIndustrial activity still robust, but likely maturing

  1. Industrial production grew by 3.4 percent in y-o-y terms, but decreased from the previous month
  2. Exports still growing strongly
  3. Robust growth in industrial activity, but we see signs of softening
Industrial production grew by 3.4 percent in y-o-y terms, but decreased from the previous month
According to Statistics Finland, the output of total industries adjusted for working days increased by 3.4 percent y-o-y in February 2018. In m-o-m terms, the seasonally-adjusted industrial output decreased by 1.2 percent. Industrial output decreased in several main industries. Production grew most in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, by 5.3 percent y-o-y, while output decreased most in mining and quarrying, by 12.6 percent y-o-y. The value of new manufacturing orders grew by 5.7 percent y-o-y, as enterprises in all manufacturing industries received more orders than a year ago.
Exports still growing strongly
Preliminary February statistics for foreign trade were released yesterday by Finnish Customs, showing that the value of Finnish goods exports increased by 9 percent y-o-y and the value of goods imports went up by 8 percent from the previous year. Exports particularly grew in products for forest industry and passenger cars. In contrast, the value of machinery and equipment exports fell. In the first two months of 2018, exports to EU countries expanded by 9 percent and to non-EU countries by 14 percent, whereas imports from EU member states increased by 9 percent and from other countries by 2 percent.
Robust growth in industrial activity, but we see signs of softening
Finnish industrial activity has been recovering in the past few years and the growth in manufacturing output and goods exports is still robust. However, there are clear signs of growth having passed the peak in the current business cycle. Also, a business survey from the Confederation of Finnish industries (EK) indicates a slight softening in manufacturing confidence; however, it remains at levels not seen in over ten years. We expect robust growth to continue in Finnish industry this year, but the trend is clearly maturing.

 



Disclaimer

Janne Ronkanen

Senior Economist

Finland

jaro06@handelsbanken.se

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