Calculated at reference year 2000 prices, the volume of gross domestic product increased by 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2007 from the last quarter of 2006. Compared to the first quarter of 2006, GDP was up by 5.5 per cent. Primary and secondary production, as well as services all grew from twelve months back. The growth was strongest in primary production at 11.5 per cent due to the recovered forest industry. Secondary production grew by 7.4 per cent from twelve months back, with the metal industry showing fastest growth. Services increased by 4.3 per cent.
The first quarter had the same number of working days as twelve months before. Adjusted seasonally as well as for working days, the change in GDP from one year earlier was 5.4 per cent.
According to the Flash estimate of GDP compiled by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, in the first quarter of 2007 GDP grew in the EU area by 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter, and was 3.2 per cent up on the corresponding time period of the year before.
Calculated at reference year 2000 prices, the volume of value added in agriculture was three or so per cent higher than one year before. In the forest industry, value added went up by as much as 11 per cent, reflecting the strongly increased volume of market fellings boosted by risen stump prices.
Value added in manufacturing was just short of eight per cent up on the first quarter of 2006. In the wood and paper industry value added grew by nearly six per cent. In the metal industry value added increased by over 12 per cent from twelve months back, with the fastest growth recorded in the manufacture of basic metals. In other manufacturing, too, value added grew by just short of seven per cent in the first quarter.
In the January to March period, the value added generated by construction increased by over six per cent from the year before.
The volume of value added generated by trade was seven per cent higher than twelve months earlier. Wholesale trade grew by more than retail trade.
Three per cent growth was recorded in transport, storage and communications. Real estate and business activities grew by six per cent year-on-year.
Total demand was increased in the first quarter of the year by all demand components: exports, consumption and investments. In the January to March period the volume of exports increased by 2.5 per cent from twelve months back. The volume of imports was over three per cent higher than twelve months earlier.
The volume of private consumption went up by just under five per cent in the first quarter. The growth was strongest in consumption on semi-durables, which increased by nine per cent. Consumption of services went up by just short of three per cent.
Investments in construction increased by over seven per cent, with strongest growth recorded in other building construction. Investments in machinery and equipment contracted by barely one per cent. In the first quarter of the year, private investments increased by over five per cent year-on-year, and public investments by just short of four per cent.
Employment improved in the first quarter of 2007. The number of employed persons went up by 1.6 per cent from the corresponding quarter of 2006. However, the number of hours worked in the national economy did not increase from twelve months back. The quarter contained the same number of working days as the respective quarter of the year before. According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, the rate of unemployment for the January to March period was 7.7 per cent. In last year's corresponding quarter it stood at 8.5 per cent. The rate of employment was 67.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2007, having been 67.2 per cent twelve months previously.
In the first quarter of 2007, the nominal wages and salaries bill (excluding incentive stock options) of the national economy grew by six per cent. Operating surplus (net), which roughly equals business profit in business bookkeeping, increased by good 12 per cent. In the first quarter of the year, net national income was just under nine per cent greater than in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
These preliminary data on the first quarter of 2007 are based on the information on economic development available by 1 June 2007.
Data at the annual level correspond with the National Accounts data released on 1 March 2007.
Data concerning the second quarter of 2007 will be released on 7 September 2007, when the data for previous quarters will also be revised.
The calculation method of value added has been revised in quarterly national accounts. Value added by industry is now calculated by deducting intermediate consumption from output. In calculations (of volumes) at constant prices, output and intermediate consumption are now deflated separately and value added at constant prices is derived as the difference of these figures. At the same time, fixed base year was replaced by a moving base year, which is always the previous year. The data are published as series at reference year 2000 prices, chained from figures calculated from mean prices of the previous year with the so-called annual overlap method.
The calculation method makes the figures on value added for individual industries highly volatile. The quarterly data on value added by individual industry should be approached with great caution. Thus, they should be regarded as an interim stage in the calculation, in which the eventual aim is to produce as reliable as possible summed up value added for all industries in the whole economy.
The data contents of quarterly accounts have been partly recalculated with the revised method for the quarters of 2000N1 to 2007N1. Quarters older than this have been chained backwards using the previous data and balanced to the new annual levels. The data for 2000-2005 have also been balanced to the new levels of annual accounts. However, the revision of quarterly accounts series is still unfinished and series proper calculated with the revised method will be published by the end of 2007.
The data on 2005 and 2006 are preliminary. The data on 2006 will become revised in connection with the publication of annual accounts on 12 July 2007. A detailed report on the methodological revision of National Accounts can be found on Statistics Finland's website at: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/vtp/vtp_2006-03-31_men_007_en.html
Last updated 13.6.2007