Finland’s third quarter GDP grew 3.3%, more than expected

FILE PHOTO: People walk past Stockmann shopping center in Helsinki, Finland, May 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s third-quarter economic output rose 3.3% from the second quarter, Statistics Finland said on Friday, outstripping an earlier flash estimate of a rise of 2.6%.

The new estimate prompted Danske Bank chief economist Pasi Kuoppamaki to call it “an encouraging sign of the Finnish economy’s corona resilience”.

Statistic Finland also revised its estimate of the decline in Finnish second-quarter gross domestic product to 3.9% quarter-on-quarter, from a previous estimate of a 4.5% drop.

The earlier estimate of the second-quarter GDP drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was already the smallest among euro zone economies, according to estimates collected by Eurostat in September.

Year-on-year, Finland’s GDP fell 2.7% in the third quarter, Statistics Finland said.

Finland’s consumer confidence index recovered in November to -4.8 points but remained below its long-term average level of -1.8 points, Statistics Finland said.

“The corona epidemic has a clear impact on consumers’ sentiments, and thus the news on the coming vaccines have likely cheered up the expectations,” Kuoppamaki said in a statement.

Even so, the industry confidence indicator increased just one point from October’s figure, to -14 in November, well below its long-term average of +1. Production expectations for the coming months remained pessimistic among manufacturers, the Confederation of Finnish Industries said.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Larry King

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