Aktia Bank revises Finland’s economic growth downwards

Export growth stays low, with Brexit and Italian economics all possible having an impact on Finland's euro economy.

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Finland’s Aktia Bank says it is re-evaluating the economic outlook for the year ahead.

Previously, the bank said it expected Finland’s economy to grow around 2.2% during 2019, but it’s now revising that downwards to 1.8%.

The bank stresses that this is just a slowing down of growth, not a collapse of the economy and says that there are many uncertainties in the global economy that affect their outlook for Finland.

“Especially the worsening economic situation in Europe affects Finland’s forecast, as Europe is important to Finland’s foreign trade” says Aktia Chief Economist Heidi Schauman.

Problem areas

The bank says that growth in investments has been disappointing this year, while the construction sector has been shrinking too.

Finland’s economy is fueled by household spending patters, which are supported by an improved employment rate, but the bank notes that any changes on the horizon can cause people to save money, rather than spend it.

“Household savings have been negative for several years. We expect the weaker future prospects to encourage households to save [some amount of] financial buffer, which is certainly a good thing” says economist Schauman.

Aktia forecasts that exports will increase by less than 1% this year at top out at 1.5% in 2019 – but says that Brexit and Italy’s difficult economic situation could both impact countries in the Euro Zone.