Finland suffers double dip

Finland has become the first European Union country to suffer a double-dip recession after its economy contracted again in the first quarter of 2010, hit by a port strike in March and a colder than usual winter.

Data yesterday showed January-March gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.8 per cent versus a year ago and 0.4 per cent against the fourth quarter of 2009. October-December GDP was also revised to show drops of 5.2 per cent annually and 0.2 per cent on a quarterly basis.

Export-dependent Finland had one of the deepest recessions in the European Union last year, with GDP plummeting 7.8 per cent as the global downturn dented demand for mobile phones, paper and machines.

A recovery is expected to be slow, with the IMF forecasting growth of just 1.25 per cent in 2010 and 2 per cent in 2011.

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