GDP per capita 

Updated: 11.7.2014 - Next update: 2.3.2015

Gross domestic product contracted by 1.2 per cent last year

According to Statistics Finlands revised preliminary data, the volume of Finlands GDP contracted by 1.2 per cent in 2013. According to the initial preliminary data released in March, the decrease was 1.4 per cent. The GDP became revised as new data on intermediate consumption in manufacturing and other industries became available.

National accounts have started using the new system of national accounts (ESA 2010) used in the European Union and new time series have been backcasted starting from the year 1975. The main changes made to time series are explained on the home pages of the statistics under " Changes in these statistics ".

Annual change in the volume of gross domestic product, per cent, in accordance with the old ESA95 national accounts (left column) and the new ESA2010 national accounts (right column)

Production contracted for the second year in a row last year and was at the 2006 level. The volume of value added decreased in nearly all main industries, for example, in manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, administrative and support service activities, financial and insurance activities, and administrative and support service activities. The volume of value added grew most in the manufacture of basic metals, the chemical industry and the forest industry.

Demand items in the national economy remained at previous year's level or declined. The volume of consumption expenditure remained unchanged. Private consumption expenditure decreased by 0.7 per cent but public consumption expenditure grew by 1.5 per cent. The transfer of the Finnish Broadcasting Company from non-financial corporations to the central government sector decreased private consumption expenditure and increased public consumption expenditure.

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.