Operating environment

Financial Statements Bulletin, 13 February 2020

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

Growth in the global economy in 2020 is expected to be somewhat faster than in the previous year. However, continued consumer confidence is a prerequisite for the favourable development. Trade policy tensions persist, and there are no signs of industrial growth yet. The risk of the global economy performing worse than expected still exists.

Growth in the Finnish economy is estimated to slow down this year. Although the outlook for some sectors has improved from autumn 2019, the overall economic conditions and outlook are weak. The volume of retail sales declined slightly in late autumn 2019, and sales expectations for the next few months are subdued. Consumer confidence remained almost unchanged in January 2020: consumers’ view of their current and future financial situation weakened somewhat, but confidence in the Finnish economy was slightly higher than before.

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

The working-day-adjusted turnover of Finnish retail trade from January to December was up by 2.3 percent; the volume of sales rose by 2.2 percent. In December 2019, sales only grew by 0.4 percent and sales volume declined by 1.7 percent. (Statistics Finland: Turnover of Trade, retail trade flash estimate, December 2019.)