November 27, 2017 / 8:27 AM / a year ago

Confident businesses, consumers boost growth hopes in Finland

FILE PHOTO: Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish industry confidence rose in November while consumer confidence remained at exceptionally high levels, boosting hopes of a rapid economic recovery.

The Nordic euro zone economy is stirring from a decade of stagnation sparked among other things by a sharp decline in Nokia’s former phone business and recession in neighboring Russia.

Industry confidence increased to 14 points in November from 12 points in October, well above the indicator’s long-term average of 1 point, the Confederation of Finnish Industries said.

Consumer confidence declined marginally to 23.0 points from 23.1 points in the previous month, compared to a long-term average of 12.2, Statistics Finland said in a separate statement.

“This information points to strong growth also for 2018... The whole of Europe is enjoying a growth season at the moment and Finland is following,” economist Juhana Brotherus from Hypo Bank said.

IHS Markit’s flash Purchase Managers’ Index (PMI) for euro zone manufacturers climbed more than expected this month, bolstering hopes for broad-based growth in the bloc.

Brotherus said Hypo would likely lift its forecast for Finnish growth in 2018 from 2 percent to around 3 percent.

The latest growth forecasts by the government and banks vary from 2.8 to 3.6 percent for 2017 and from 1.8 to 2.7 percent for 2018.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Toby Chopra

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