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Tue, 26 Aug, 2014 12:05:18 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, August 26

OP-Pohjola, the largest financial services group in Finland, lowered its forecast for Finland's economic growth in 2015 from 2.0 percent to 0.6 percent.

     Weak export market prospects, slow growth in the euro zone and impact of Ukraine crisis slowed down Finland's economic growth in the first half of this year.

     Finland's GDP growth in next year, therefore, will be at a standstill, said OP-Pohjola in its financial forecast published on Monday.

     The financial services group projected Finland's GDP to increase by 0.6 percent in 2015. The previous forecast made in March this year was 2.0 percent.

     The more modest prediction mainly resulted from weak export market prospects. Poorer export market prospects will erode more than 2 percentage points from Finland's economic growth in 2014 and 2015, explained Reijo Heiskanen, chief economist of OP-Pohjola.

     According to Heiskanen, due to the sluggish economic growth, unemployment will continue to rise, inflation will slow down and the housing markets will remain stable in Finland.

     Owing to poor exports, however, the fiscal deficit will not decrease by much and the public debt will be higher than 60 percent, the threshold of the EU.

     OP-Pohjola also predicted that the global economic prospect will be gloomy in 2015 and remain below average for a long time, said OP-Pohjola, as the effects of the Ukraine crisis and the sanctions that followed on Russia, Europe and the entire world are uncertainties in future development. 

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