HELSINKI, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The risks for a sharp economic decline have decreased, and Finland's economic downturn has been slightly softer than expected for this year, the OP Financial Group -- one of the largest financial companies in Finland -- said in a press release on Tuesday.
The financial group expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 1.4 percent this year, up from 1.2 percent in August.
The economic growth forecast for 2020 remains unchanged at 0.5 percent.
Even though the global economic growth has slowed down as expected in 2019, the risk outlook for the economy has brightened as the probability for a no-deal Brexit is low, the trade war has not escalated, and U.S. import tariffs on cars made in the European Union seem less likely than ever, according to the OP.
In Finland, retail and housing sales have picked up, service exports are strong and large ship deliveries also support exports. "As a whole, exports are performing slightly better than predicted earlier," said OP's Chief Economist Reijo Heiskanen.
"The Finnish economy is showing a soft decline," said Heiskanen, adding that the basic outlook for next year remains unchanged and the OP expects "only a slight growth in exports for 2020" despite lower risks.
According to the OP, neither employment nor unemployment has improved from early 2019 levels. The employment rate will increase slightly from 72.6 percent today to 72.9 percent in 2020. Inflation is set to remain slow at around one percent both this year and next year.