Operating environment

Interim Report 1-3/2021, 20 May 2021

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

The world economy is expected to recover from the coronavirus pandemic at a rate of approximately six percent in 2021. The recovery will take place at highly differing rates around the world and in different sectors, and it involves major uncertainties due to virus variants and the availability of vaccines, among other things.

The economic outlook for Finland is improving, but it still remains fairly weak. Differences between industries continue to be high. The economy can be expected to recover at a similar rate with the rest of the world, but there is still uncertainty in Finland as well. The confidence indicator for the retail trade increased in April and was above the long-term average. Sales expectations have improved, and sales are estimated to grow in the next few months. The April figures for consumer confidence were at the strongest level in nearly three years. Estimates of the current state of personal finances and the trend in both personal and Finland’s economy improved noticeably year-on-year.

(Confederation of Finnish Industries EK: Business Tendency Survey, April 2021; Confidence Indicators, April 2021. Statistics Finland: Consumer Confidence 2021, April).

The working-day-adjusted turnover of Finnish retail trade in March grew by 6.8 percent on the previous year, and the volume of sales was up by 3.8 percent. The cumulative working-day-adjusted turnover of retail trade in the first quarter rose by 4.5 percent and the volume of sales increased by 3.3 percent. (Statistics Finland: Turnover of Trade, March 2021).