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According to the most recent quarterly national accounts, real GDP in the first quarter of 2015 contracted by 0.1% quarter on quarter but remained unchanged year on year. The quarterly national accounts data signal a broadly similar economic development to the indicator data previously published, i.e. the economy was continuing to contract.

On 4 June 2015, Statistics Finland published preliminary quarterly national accounts data containing the latest statistical data on Finnish economic developments in the first quarter of 2015 and revised data on quarterly developments in 2014.

According to the most recent quarterly national accounts, real GDP in the first quarter of 2015 contracted by 0.1% quarter on quarter but remained unchanged year on year. According to the flash estimate published in May, real GDP growth in the first quarter was –0.1% year on year and –0.1% quarter on quarter.

The GDP growth rates for the last quarter of 2014 were revised upwards by 0.1 of a percentage point from earlier estimates. Hence, real GDP contracted in the last quarter of 2014 by 0.1% on the previous quarter.

Private consumption grew in the first quarter of 2015 by 1.0% on the previous quarter and 1.2% on a year earlier. Private investment was 0.4% up quarter on quarter, but 3.8% down year on year. Public consumption expenditure remained unchanged, while public investment was 2.0% down quarter on quarter. The contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth was 0.5 of a percentage point.

In the first quarter of 2015, exports were 0.9% down on the previous quarter. Imports, in turn, grew by 2.2%. Hence, the contribution of net exports to GDP growth in the first quarter was ‑1.2 of a percentage points. The contribution of changes in inventories and statistical discrepancies was 0.6 of a percentage point.

The national accounts data for the first quarter of 2015 indicates that the number of employees increased by 0.1% and the number of hours worked decreased by 0.2% on the previous year. Growth in compensation per employee picked up to 1.3% year on year.

The Bank of Finland’s macroeconomic forecast presented in this publication is based on the quarterly national accounts published by Statistics Finland in March, a flash estimate for the first quarter released in May and extensive indicator data on economic developments.

The most recent quarterly national accounts data signals a similar economic development for the early part of 2015 to the indicator data previously published. Quarterly GDP growth was unchanged from the flash estimate published in May, i.e. the economy continued to contract.

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