Picture of the economic situation remains positive

At the end of November, the picture of the economic situation was positive. The heart of the indicators in the Business Cycle Tracer is located deeper in the high economic growth stage. This means that the growth rate of most indicators is increasing and above their long-term average.

The economy grew further in the third quarter of 2006. The gross domestic product (GDP) volume was 2.6 percent up on last year. The increase in exports and household consumption was slightly smaller this quarter than in the first six months. Fixed capital formation grew further. Exports are the driving force behind economic growth. The third quarter of 2006 had one working day less than the same period last year.

After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume was 0.6 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2006. This quarter-on-quarter growth is a fraction lower than in the first half of this year. .

In September, manufacturing production was higher than twelve months previously for the eighth month in a row. In August, the volume of goods exports was almost 9 percent higher than in the same period in 2005. Households spent 3.1 percent more on goods and services than in August 2005.

In November, the producers in manufacturing industry remained very optimistic. Business service providers were also optimistic. The majority of manufacturers expect to receive more orders and a higher turnover in the fourth quarter of 2006. Consumer confidence fell slightly in November.

The capital market interest rate was stable in October. October’s inflation rate fell to 0.9 percent, the lowest result since March 1989. Lower oil prices slowed down price rises in manufacturing industry. Selling prices were 2.3 percent higher in September than twelve months previously.

Unemployment was virtually unchanged in the in the period August-October. In the third quarter, both the number of jobs and the number of vacancies increased further. There was a rise in the number of hours worked in temp jobs in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP)