Economic situation remains invariably positive

The picture of the economic situation at the end of July remains invariably positive. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer are distinctly located in the high economic growth stage.

In the first quarter of 2006, gross domestic product (GDP) was up by 2.9 percent on the year before. This growth rate was substantially higher than the average in 2005.

In July, consumer confidence declined marginally, after a 10 month period of sustained increase. Still, optimists outnumber pessimists. Producer confidence in manufacturing industry increased further in July to reach the highest level since early 1985. Business service providers also remain optimistic about future turnover and orders.

The economy saw robust growth in the first quarter of 2006. It is the highest growth rate in over five years. After correction for working day patterns and seasonal effects, the volume of GDP was 0.1 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2005. The quarter-on-quarter growth is clearly less than in the previous three quarters.

In May the working day adjusted volume of exports was 6 percent higher than one year previously. Manufacturing production in May was, after adjustment for working day effects, 1.8 percent higher than a year before. Consumption growth has accelerated in recent months. After correction for price changes and differences in shopping day patterns, domestic household consumption was 3.5 percent up on May 2005.

Inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points to 1.3 percent. In May prices in the manufacturing industry increased by 7,2 percent compared to May 2005.

Unemployment fell further in the second quarter. The recovery in employment continued in the first quarter of 2006. The number of vacancies remained high. There was a further increase of the hours worked in temp jobs.

Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product