GDP per capita 

Updated: 9.7.2015 - Next update: 29.1.2016

Gross domestic product decreased by 0.4 per cent last year

According to Statistics Finland's revised preliminary data, the volume of Finland’s GDP contracted by 0.4 per cent in 2014. According to the initial preliminary data released in March, the decrease was 0.1 per cent. The GDP became revised as new data on intermediate consumption in various industries in particular became available.

In 2013, the volume of GDP contracted by 1.1 per cent whereas previous estimates put the decline at 1.3 per cent. Production contracted for the third year in a row last year and was at the 2006 level.

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.