Europe > Finland

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Iacovos Ioannou
Lithuania’s current credit cycle highlights the strong link between housing prices and credit. We explore this relationship in more detail by analyzing the main features of credit, housing price, and output cycles in Baltic and Nordic countries during1995-2017. We find a high degree of synchronization between Lithuania’s credit and housing price cycles. Panel regressions show a strong correlation between a credit upturn and housing price upturn. Moreover, panel VAR suggests that shocks in housing prices, credit, and output within and outside Lithuania strongly impact Lithuania’s credit.
Mr. Christian H Ebeke and Kodjovi M. Eklou
This paper investigates the microeconomic origins of aggregate economic fluctuations in Europe. It examines the relevance of idiosyncratic shocks at the top 100 large firms (the granular shocks) in explaining aggregate macroeconomic fluctuations. The paper also assesses the strength of spillovers from large firms onto SMEs. Using firm-level data covering over 14 million firms and eight european countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain), we find that: (i) 40 percent of the variance in GDP in the sample can be explained by idiosyncratic shocks at large firms; (ii) positive granular shocks at large firms spill over to domestic SMEs’ output, especially if SMEs’ balance sheets are healthy and if SMEs belong to the services and manufacturing sectors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations made in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Finland in the area of macroprudential policy framework. The Finnish authorities regularly coordinate and collaborate with international bodies on macroprudential policy. Several macroprudential instruments were formally introduced in the legislation and activated recently. The 2014 Act on Credit Institutions implements macroprudential instruments, including those set out in the European Capital Requirement Directive. Despite the important progress made, there are some improvements that should be considered. The macroprudential policy toolkit should be expanded. The systemic risk buffer should be added to the toolkit, although its activation and level may still need further analysis.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations made in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Finland in the area of macroprudential policy framework. The Finnish authorities regularly coordinate and collaborate with international bodies on macroprudential policy. Several macroprudential instruments were formally introduced in the legislation and activated recently. The 2014 Act on Credit Institutions implements macroprudential instruments, including those set out in the European Capital Requirement Directive. Despite the important progress made, there are some improvements that should be considered. The macroprudential policy toolkit should be expanded. The systemic risk buffer should be added to the toolkit, although its activation and level may still need further analysis.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the growth in Finland has turned tepidly positive again following a deep recession. GDP increased by 0.2 percent in 2015 driven by stronger private consumption and a rebound in investment. Although net export growth was weak, falling oil prices contributed to the nominal trade balance shifting into surplus, reducing the current account deficit. Better-than-expected fiscal performance brought the deficit back under the 3 percent Stability and Growth Pact limit in 2015. The recovery is likely to continue, but growth is set to remain slow at about 0.9 percent in 2016 and 1.1 percent in 2017. This outlook is subject to downside risks.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Finland’s strong economic record has stalled. The economy has been in recession for three of the last five years, and unemployment is now more than 8 percent, with more people without work for longer. The shortfall in growth, coming at a time when peer economies saw GDP improve and unemployment fall, points to deeper structural problems. Exports suffered from the continued decline of the information and communications technology industry and falling demand for paper and pulp. The outlook is for a slow and fragile recovery, and weaker external demand could easily derail the upswing.

International Monetary Fund

The European Union’s (EU) financial stability framework is being markedly strengthened. This is taking place on the heels of a severe financial crisis owing to weaknesses in the banking system interrelated with sovereign difficulties in the euro area periphery. Important progress has been made in designing an institutional framework to secure microeconomic and macroprudential supervision at the EU level, but this new set-up faces a number of challenges. Developments regarding the financial stability may assist in the continuing evolution of the European financial stability architecture.

Mr. Jinzhu Chen, Mr. Bharat Trehan, Mr. Prakash Kannan, and Mr. Prakash Loungani
We provide cross-country evidence on the relative importance of cyclical and structural factors in explaining unemployment, including the sharp rise in U.S. long-term unemployment during the Great Recession of 2007-09. About 75% of the forecast error variance of unemployment is accounted for by cyclical factors-real GDP changes (?Okun‘s Law?), monetary and fiscal policies, and the uncertainty effects emphasized by Bloom (2009). Structural factors, which we measure using the dispersion of industry-level stock returns, account for the remaining 25 percent. For U.S. long-term unemployment the split between cyclical and structural factors is closer to 60-40, including during the Great Recession.
Man-Keung Tang
Advanced economies have been experiencing diverse developments in accumulation of financial liabilities by their household and corporate sectors since around 1995. Crosscountry- industry evidence indicates that the type of the financial system and the degree of labor market flexibility matter for the economic impact of expanded borrowings. Especially in countries with a more arm's length-based financial system and less rigid labor market, faster creation of corporate liabilities in recent years appears to have spurred growth of industries more reliant on external finance, and strengthened the development of growing industries. The findings suggest an association of recent increases in corporate borrowings with a reduction in costs of external finance and improvement in resource allocation-two supposed channels through which finance facilitates growth.
Mr. Jiandong Ju and Shang-Jin Wei
This paper develops a theory of international trade in which financial development and factor endowments jointly determine comparative advantage. We apply the financial contract model of Holmstrom and Tirole (1998) to the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson (HOS) model in which firms' dependence on external finance is endogenous, and the demand for external finance is constrained by financial development. The theory nests HOS model as a special case. A key result that emerges is what we call the law of a wooden barrel: if the external finance constraint is binding, then further financial development will increase the output of the industry more dependent on external finance, and decrease the output of the other industry. It is shown that financial development makes both labor and unemployed capital better off, but incumbent capital worse off. Therefore, financial development depends on the relative strength of political forces among labor, unemployed capital owners, and incumbent capital owners. If only the capital constraint is binding, on the other hand, the standard HOS predictions will apply.