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Nokia's decline hits Finnish economy

Nokias decline hits Finnish economy

Helsinki: A leading Finnish research institute lowered the nation's economic growth forecast, and attributed it to the decline of Nokia, which sold its mobile businesses to Microsoft earlier this month.

The new growth forecast by the Research Institute of Finnish Economy (ETLA) is 0.3-0.4 percent for this year, and 1.6-1.8 percent next year, lower than an earlier prediction made in March, reports Xinhua.

According to Markku Kotilainen, research director of ETLA, Nokia's recent sell is the main reason for the revision. He described the decline of the once mobile giant as "an ugly dent" in the Finnish economy.

With Nokia's rise during 1990s, Finland rapidly recovered from deep recession and become one of the foremost knowledge economies in the world, said a report published by ETLA in March.

During Nokia's prime years 1998-2007, the company contributed a quarter of the growth of the Finnish economy. It created nearly a fifth of Finland's exports and paid as much as 23 percent of all Finnish corporation tax revenue.

However, its descent since 2008 has devastated Finland's economy. Nearly one-third of the over 8 percent drop in the Finnish GDP in 2009 was attributable to Nokia, and now the company's share of contribution in Finland's GDP has fallen to virtually zero, said the report.

Besides Nokia's decline, other reasons for the downward revised economic forecast included the weak performance of exports, cautious consumption and climbing unemployment rate, as well as slow economic recovery in the eurozone, according to ETLA.

As the global economy is experiencing an upturn, particularly in the eurozone, the Finnish economy will turn to grow by 1.6 percent in 2014 and 2.7 percent in 2015, said ETLA, emphasizing the necessity of continuous expansion of export market shares.


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