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Finland Consumer Confidence Improves; Retail Sales Growth Slows

Finland's consumers were less pessimistic at the start of the year, while retail sales grew at a slower pace in the previous month, figures from Statistics Finland showed Thursday.

The consumer confidence index climbed to -1.7 from -3.5 in December, results of Statistics Finland's survey among 962 residents between January 1 and 19 showed.

Households' expectations regarding their own economic situation improved, while that on the national economy remained weak.

Fears of unemployment in the next twelve months increased. Savings expectations rose in January.

Separately, flash estimates from Statistics Finland showed that retail sales grew a working day adjusted 1.0 percent year-on-year in December. Sales volume decreased 2.9 percent year-on-year.

Elsewhere, survey data from the Confederation of Finnish Industries, or EK, showed that the industrial confidence index improved to +19 in January from +18 in the previous month.

Morale weakened in the construction and services sectors, while sentiment was unchanged in the retail trade.

A quarterly survey by the EK, also released on Thursday, showed that the current economic situation remained favorable for businesses, while the outlook has deteriorated in some sectors, mainly due to material and labor supply issues.

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