December 1, 2017 / 9:30 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Finnish Q3 GDP growth revised downwards as exports fall Q/Q

(Adds economist comment, background)

HELSINKI, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Finland’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew less than initially projected in the third quarter as exports fell from the previous quarter, data from Statistics Finland showed on Friday.

The Nordic member of the euro zone is picking itself up from a decade of stagnation sparked among other things by a sharp decline in Nokia’s phone business, labour market rigidity and recession in neighbouring Russia.

Third-quarter growth was revised to 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 3.0 percent year-on-year from flash estimates of 1.1 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

Although second-quarter readings were simultaneously revised upwards, economists noted that third-quarter exports were down 2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

“The overall growth remains strong but there are concerns about industry and exports. The decline in exports may have been just temporary, or an indication of a slower export growth ahead,” Aktia economist Heidi Schauman said.

However, she added that the information gave no reason to change the bank’s view of a 3.1 percent growth for 2017 and 2.6 percent for 2018.

Finance Minister Petteri Orpo told Reuters earlier this week that the economy was recovering at rapid pace, and that he believed growth would hold up in the coming years. (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Terje Solsvik, Editing by William Maclean)

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