2010 OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2010

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2010

OECD's periodic survey of Finland's economy.  This 2010 edition includes chapters on overcoming the crisis, sustainable public finances, coping with the jobs crisis and preparing for ageing, and rising inequalities. It finds that the crisis hit Finland harder than most other OECD countries, worsening the fiscal outlook. This calls for a stronger fiscal framework.  Employment has held up relatively well, but rigidities in the labour market could complicate recovery. Increasing inequalities challenge Finland's social model and may be aggravated by the crisis.

English Also available in: French

Assessment and recommendations

While Finland was insulated from the direct effects of the recent global financial crisis due to its prudently managed financial sector, the worldwide recession and collapse in trade hit the country harder than most other OECD countries. Real GDP declined by over 9% from the peak in mid-2008 to the second quarter of 2009, led by declining export volumes which fell by close to one third. This extraordinary collapse in trade can to a large extent be attributed to the composition of Finnish exports, with a high dependence on information and communication technology (ICT) and capital goods, and exceptional exposure to hard hit markets such as Russia. Compared to other OECD economies, exports have also been slow to recover. Fast rising unit labour costs due to high wage increases and an appreciating effective exchange rate have deteriorated competitiveness over the last few years, potentially denting Finland’s export performance. The high wage increases boosted household income and sustained consumption through the downturn, but the negative effects on exports from lower competitiveness can weigh more heavily as the world economy rebounds. While underlying inflation in the past was lower than the euro area average, it has been higher since mid-2008 despite a wide output gap.

English Also available in: French

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