Operating environment

Interim Report Q2, 13 August 2020

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

The outlook for the global economy deteriorated dramatically in March and April. The depth and duration of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus are difficult to predict, and the situation in several markets is worrying. The possibility of a second epidemic wave further increases uncertainty.

The Finnish economy was also brought to a standstill by the coronavirus in the early part of the year. It is estimated that economic conditions have weakened further during the summer, and the situation varies greatly from sector to sector. In July, however, expectations for the future became clearly more optimistic. Retail trade confidence was up, and sales expectations for the next few months are cautiously optimistic, although sales have continued to decrease slightly. Consumer confidence has also improved. Consumers estimate that the trend in the Finnish economy continues to be weak, but in July, expectations about the economy were higher than the year before and expectations about personal finances were fairly bright.

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

Finnish retail trade saw a downturn in March. The situation improved after several months of decline, and net sales in June grew by 4.5 percent. The cumulative working-day-adjusted turnover of retail trade in the January-June period of 2020 rose by 3.3 percent and the volume of sales was up by 3.1 percent. (Statistics Finland: Turnover of Trade, retail trade flash estimate, June 2020).