GDP per capita 

Updated: 3.3.2014 - Next update: 11.7.2014

Gross domestic product contracted by 1.4 per cent last year

According to Statistics Finlands preliminary data, the volume of Finlands GDP contracted by 1.4 per cent in 2013. Last year, GDP that describes the output of the national economy stood at EUR 193 billion. National income describing the income of the national economy went down by 1.6 per cent in real terms.

Last year, demand in the national economy was depressed by decreases in private consumption and gross fixed capital formation. The volume of private consumption went down by 0.8 per cent but public consumption grew by 0.8 per cent. The growth in public consumption resulted from the classification of the Finnish Broadcasting Company changing from non-financial corporations to general government. This also decreased private consumption.

Private investments decreased by 6.4 per cent but public investments grew by 6.8 per cent. The volume of exports grew by 0.3 per cent but that of imports fell by 1.8 per cent.

Non-financial corporations' operating surplus describing profits from their actual operations contracted by 9 per cent in nominal terms. It is estimated that non-financial corporations paid 13 per cent more dividends than in the year before. Non-financial corporations' financial position showed a surplus of EUR 4.5 billion. The surplus grew from the previous year because gross fixed capital formation decreased by 8 per cent.

The financial position of general government, i.e. net lending, was in deficit for the fifth successive year, by EUR 4.6 billion. In the previous year, the deficit was EUR 4.3 billion. The deficit of local government decreased, as did the surplus of employment pension schemes.

Statistical release

Statistics Finland, Annual national accounts

Description of indicator

GDP, gross domestic product at market prices is the final result of the production activity of resident producer units. It can be defined in three ways: as the sum of gross value added of the various institutional sectors or the various industries plus taxes and less subsidies on products; as the sum of final uses of goods and services by resident institutional units (final consumption, gross capital formation, exports minus imports); as the sum of uses in the total economy generation of income account (compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports less subsidies, gross operating surplus and gross mixed income).

GDP per capita is often used in international comparisons as a measurement of national economy.

Gross domestic product (GDP) indicators can be used to make assessments about the development of the national economy and its relationship to the overall development of society. The long-term goal of Finland’s public finances is to achieve sustainable economic growth and financial balance. From the perspective of the balance and funding of public finances, the key factors affecting economic development are the productivity and job-creating potential of the economy. Supporting economic growth that creates jobs is an essential social policy objective for ensuring that the present funding of the welfare state and public finances are structurally sustainable.

The use of the GDP indicator as a measure of wellbeing has also been widely criticised, and many citizens and decision-makers have expressed a desire for another index to replace it. An indicator based on economic theory does not take into account, for example, environmental damage or financial inequality among citizens. On the other hand, one of the strengths of the GDP indicator is its robust statistical basis and international comparability. Moreover, national accounting, on which GDP is based, has been regularly adjusted to correspond with social changes and it has been expanded by incorporating within it satellite accounts relating to human wellbeing, use of natural resources and the state of the environment.