Economic picture 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 2.7 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 fewer than the same period last year.

After adjustment for seasonal effects, GDP volume was 0.7 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2006. This quarter-on-quarter growth equals the average in preceding quarters.

Manufacturing producers remain as optimistic in November as in the previous four months. Business services companies were also optimistic. The majority of companies expect to receive more orders and a higher turnover in the fourth quarter of 2006. Consumer confidence rose slightly in December.

Manufacturing production in October was more than 2 percent up on last year. The growth rate of goods exports remains high. After correction for working day effects, the volume of goods exports was more than 8 percent larger than in October 2005.

The capital market interest rate was stable in November. Inflation in November remained low, at 1.0 percent. Selling prices in the manufacturing industry were 2.5 percent higher than twelve months previously.

Unemployment fell slightly in the period September-November. 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)