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Europe   Assessing the economic future of Finland

Finland's OP raises country's 2017 growth forecast to 3.2 percent

FinlandFinland's OP Group raised the country's economic growth forecast by 0.7 percentage points to 3.2 percent, higher than its previous estimate of 2.5 percent in August.

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For 2018, the financial group predicted three percent growth. The adjustment followed the trend among institutions assessing the economic future of Finland. The Finance Ministry's prediction for 2017 was now close to three percent and for 2018 slightly above two.

OP attributed its prediction to the growth in exports. It noted in a press release that the improved demand, increased capacity and better competitive edge supported the development.

It estimated that the exports from Finland would maintain in 2018 a growth level that exceeds the general growth in world trade.

OP saw the employment rate next year at 70.4 percent. Earlier this month, the Labor Ministry gave the employment rate next year as 70.2 percent. The goal of the current government led by Juha Sipila is to maintain an employment rate of 72 percent in 2019.

Reijo Heiskanen, chief analyst of the OP Group, was optimistic of the competitiveness of the Finnish production cost despite the "higher-than-expected labour cost".

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