Country report Finland - Work Package 1 Ex post evaluation of Cohesion Policy programmes 2007-2013, focusing on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF)
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Finland was slow to recover from the effects of the financial crisis and the global recession which followed which saw GDP fall precipitously between 2007 and 2009. After an initial increase of the GDP in 2009-2011, the economy fell again into recession which lasted up until 2015 when GDP stopped falling but failed to increase too. Given the extent of the fall in GDP over the period, employment was maintained at a relatively high level, the proportion of working-age population in work being only around 2 percentage points lower in 2015 than in 2007 and unemployment being kept down to around 8% of the labour force over most of the period.
Given the economic conditions, public finances too did not deteriorate as much as might have been expected. Although a relatively large surplus on the public sector account turned into a deficit between 2007 and 2009, the deficit was kept below 3% of GDP during most of the period up to 2015. At the same time, government investment was maintained at around 4% of GDP, higher than in most countries.
Regional disparities narrowed slightly over the 2007-2013 programming period mainly because of the higher GDP per head regions, which were more export-oriented, suffering a decline in markets and experiencing more of a downturn as a result.
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