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HELSINKI, June 7 (Reuters) - Finnish exports rose five percent in April from a year ago, preliminary data showed on Wednesday, with growth slowing from previous months but still signaling the economy was recovering from a long stagnation.
Economic output in the euro zone country is still below levels prior to the financial crisis of 2008 as exports have been hit by a string of problems including the decline of Nokia's former phone business and a recession in neighbouring Russia.
In the January-April period, exports were up 15 percent year-on-year, the customs office said.
Banks have recently lifted their Finnish forecasts and Danske Bank gave the most bullish estimate yet on Wednesday, lifting its view on 2017 gross domestic product to 2.8 percent from previous 1.5 percent.
In 2018, however, the bank sees GDP growth cooling down to 1.5 percent.
"Exports have long stumbled, but they have recovered this spring and the near future looks bright on the back of global growth," said Danske economist Pasi Kuoppamaki, adding that investments were also set to pick up.
Also on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a growth forecast of 2.0 percent for this year and 1.5 percent for 2018.
In the first quarter, Finnish GDP grew 1.2 percent from the previous quarter and 2.7 percent from a year earlier. (Reporting by Tuomas Forsell and Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Tom Heneghan)