Finland lowers economic growth forecasts

Thursday - 12/20/2012, 7:38am EST

HELSINKI (AP) - Finland expects economic contraction this year and little improvement in 2013 as the export-dependent country continues to suffer from reduced demand among European trading partners.

The Finance Ministry says GDP is expected to decline 0.1 percent this year and rise only 0.5 percent in 2013, mainly because of growth in domestic demand. Growth will improve slightly to 1.7 percent in 2014, when trading partners in the 17-country eurozone are expected to keep struggling economically.

The ministry earlier predicted 1 percent growth this year and 1.8 percent in 2013.

In the report published Thursday, the ministry estimates export volumes this year fell 1.7 percent and would grow about 1 percent next year.

Finland fell into recession this year after economic output dropped by 1.1 percent in the second quarter.

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