Operating environment

Interim Report Q3, 4 November 2020

The following outlook information is based on materials published by Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and Statistics Finland.

The global economy is expected to shrink at a rate of about four percent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although recovery is underway, the pace varies in different parts of the world and the impacts of the second wave of the pandemic on economic trends are difficult to forecast.

Economic conditions in Finland have continued to be very weak during the fall. The recovery of industry and commerce from the corona shock in the spring has come to a halt at the same time as the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated again as the fall has progressed. The situation varies greatly from sector to sector. Retail trade confidence was down in October, and although sales have slightly grown after the summer, sales expectations have clearly weakened. Consumer confidence has also weakened after the summer, and consumers’ expectations about the trend in the Finnish economy declined further in October. Views of current personal finances improved slightly, but expectations about the future financial situation continued to be subdued.

(Confederation of Finnish Industries EK: Business Tendency Survey, October 2020; Confidence Indicators, October 2020. Statistics Finland: Consumer Confidence 2020, October).

Net sales of Finnish retail trade in September grew by 3.2 percent on the previous year. Growth in sales of daily consumer goods, in particular, continued to be good. The cumulative working-day-adjusted turnover of retail trade in the January-September period of 2020 rose by 3.9 percent and the volume of sales was up by 3.7 percent. (Statistics Finland: Turnover of Trade, retail trade flash estimate, September 2020).