Finland fell back into recession in the first quarter, as its economy contracted by 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, statistics showed yesterday. However, the figure was better than analysts had expected, with Nordea Bank, for example, forecasting a gross domestic product (GDP) decrease of 0.2-0.4 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Finland saw its economy shrink by 0.2 percent. After two years of recession in 2012 and 2013 and a year of stagnation in 2014, Finland's growth prospects appear weak. "Restoring household confidence is a key step, which does not necessarily require any big tricks. A well thought-out government program and an announcement of a permanent reversal of the tax hikes made in the last few years would be a good start," Nordea economist Pasi Sorjonen said. Finland's future prime minister, Juha Sipila, whose Centre Party won the April 19 legislative elections, is expected to present his new cabinet soon. He recently announced he would form a government with the right-wing, eurosceptic Finns Party and the conservative National Coalition Party. Sipila vowed during the election campaign to re-launch Finland's ailing economy with liberal reforms, after dramatic declines in the two pillars of the country's economy, the forestry and technology sectors.
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