Euro Zone's Northern Tip Ends Year on a Low as Confidence Sinks

(Bloomberg) -- Confidence among Finnish businesses fell for a fifth month in December while consumers in the northernmost euro nation were at their gloomiest in more than two years as trade wars make themselves felt in the export-reliant economy.

Euro Zone's Northern Tip Ends Year on a Low as Confidence Sinks

Key Insights

  • Sentiment gauges are the only leading indicators published in Finland with the latest data providing further evidence that economic growth is losing steam.
  • Industrial order books in Finland have been getting thinner while inventories have been swelling.
  • For Finland’s government, the development is troubling, as the economic outlook grows less certain ahead of general elections due in April. Though the three-party center-right coalition has largely delivered on its goals, Finland is still running a budget deficit.

What Economists Say

  • Juhana Brotherus at housing-credit provider Hypo says the biggest worry in the latest confidence reports is the build-up in inventories as orders slow. He compared Finland to a small slab of driftwood blown about by global economic winds.

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