Finland’s business cycle improvement continued in the final quarter of 2010, according to the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK's Business Tendency Survey of January, although at a slower pace than before. Growth in output continued and profitability improved moderately in manufacturing and services, while remaining stable in construction. No deviation from these trends is expected in early 2011. Production, sales and employment levels are expected to grow in all three sectors.
The outlook indicator for industry was +19 in January (+12 in October), with 25% of respondents to the survey expecting better business in early 2011 and 6% forecasting a deterioration. Orders were significantly higher in manufacturing than during the previous quarter. Manufacturing production grew at an accelerating pace late last year and growth is expected to continue in the coming months, but at a somewhat lower rate.
The outlook indicator for service companies was +21 in January (+25 in October), with 27% of respondents expressing positive expectations and 6% a negative outlook. Service sector sales climbed quite briskly at the end of 2010 and this growth is expected to carry over into early 2011, albeit at a slightly more relaxed pace.
Taking seasonal variation into account, the outlook for construction is stable. The volume of construction orders remained stable but is projected to increase fractionally. In construction, too, output grew to some extent – a trend that is anticipated to speed up slightly in the near future.
The Confederation of Finnish Industries Business Tendency Survey is published four times a year and has been conducted regularly since 1966. A total of 1,066 companies employing approximately 280,000 people responded to the Survey that was carried out in January 2011.
Source: The Confederation of Finnish Industries