Finland technically put the recession behind in the third quarter, in which the economy finally rebounded after several quarters of declines due to the coronavirus crisis.
However, the volume of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains sunk compared to last year.
According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data on National Accounts, the volume of Finland’s gross domestic product increased in July to September by 3.3% from the previous quarter.
The 3.3% rebound is even more intense than predicted in the flash estimate (2.6%) that Statistics Finland released 2 weeks ago but much less robust than in other European countries. However, the Finnish economy continues to do considerably worse than a year ago. Compared with the third quarter of 2019, GDP adjusted for working days contracted by 2.7%.
According to revised data, Finland's GDP contracted in the second quarter (April to June) by 3.9% from the previous quarter (was -4.5%) and by 6.2% from twelve months back (was -6.4%).
Imports and exports
A good example that the recovery is far from the levels of a year ago is the evolution of imports and exports.
In the third quarter of 2020, the volume of exports increased by 2.6% from the previous quarter but contracted by 12.7% year-on-year. Imports grew by 4.7% from the previous quarter but contracted by 9.8% year-on-year.
Finland sells considerably less than a year ago, especially to European countries that have the same or worse problems. But it also imports less from abroad, whether consumer goods or capital goods (which companies use to produce other goods and services).
In the third quarter, the volume of private consumption went up by 2.9% from the previous quarter but contracted by 3.6% from twelve months back. Gross fixed capital formation, or investments, fell by 0.3% from the previous quarter and by 2% year-on-year.