Operating environment

Financial Statements Bulletin 2020, 18 February 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 five percent in 2021. The recovery will take place at highly differing rates around the world, and it involves major uncertainties due to virus mutations and the availability of vaccines, among other things.

The economic outlook for Finland has improved slightly, but it still remains weak. Differences between industries are high. The economy can be expected to recover at a similar rate with the rest of the world, but there is major uncertainty in Finland as well, and any tightening of restrictions may have significant impacts on different industries. The confidence indicator for the retail trade increased in January and was above the long-term average. However, sales expectations continue to be weak, and sales are estimated to decrease during the winter. The January figures for consumer confidence were at the strongest level in more than two years. Estimates of the current state of personal finances weakened slightly year-on-year, but expectations concerning the trend in both personal and Finland’s economy improved.

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

Net sales of Finnish retail trade in December grew by 1.3 percent on the previous year. Sales of daily consumer goods, in particular, performed well. The cumulative working-day-adjusted turnover of retail trade in 2020 rose by 3.8 percent and the volume of sales was up by 3.7 percent. (Statistics Finland: Turnover of Trade, retail trade flash estimate, December 2020).