HELSINKI, July 27 (Xinhua) -- "Finnish company outlooks have continued to improve during the summer," especially in the services sector, which has suffered the most from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) said on Tuesday.
"For the first time during the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of service sector companies expect the situation to develop robustly," the EK's Director Sami Pakarinen said in a press release.
According to the EK's July Business Tendency Survey, industrial new orders have now reached the level seen before the 2008 financial crisis. However, "the mood is more tentative" in the construction sector, Pakarinen said.
"The more muted outlook for manufacturing and construction is partly the result of a global shortage of components and rise in raw material prices, which are mentioned repeatedly in responses to the survey's question about the main obstacles to production growth," he said.
"The biggest problem for companies as a whole, however, is the insufficient availability of labor, an issue that has emerged quickly."
As the pandemic is not over yet, the outlook for the services sector and, consequently, for all businesses may weaken in the second half of the year, the EK noted.
The Consumer Confidence Indicator published by Statistics Finland on Tuesday gave the highest ever positive estimate for July, signaling strong intentions to buy consumer durables.
Consumer confidence in Finland's economy was also strong in July.
The consumer confidence index (CCI) stood at 4.4 in July, after 4.6 in June and 2.7 in May. The long-term average for the CCI is -1.7.