University news

OP Financial Group wins the Economic Forecaster 2017 prize

Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics ranked economic forecasters for the 21st time.

The winner of the Economic Forecaster 2017 prize was announced in the Economists' XXXV summer seminar in Jyväskylä. The prize was awarded to OP Financial group. 

The contestants competed for the best hit ratio in economic forecasts for economic development of the year 2017. The participants were ten research institutes and banks: The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), Finnish Labour Institute for Economic Research, Pellervo Economic Research (PTT), Ministry of Finance, Bank of Finland, OP Financial Group, Nordea Bank, Aktia Bank, Danske Bank and Handelsbanken. 

The forecast hit ratio was assessed separately in inter alia economic growth, unemployment, inflation, current account, investments and consumption. The variables were assessed in three forecast points: the spring and fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017.

Finland's economic growth has been positive for three consecutive years. The growth accelerated still in 2017, which the economic forecasters couldn't calculate. The average forecast for the economic growth of 2017 was 1.3 % - the real growth being 2.6 %, hence the forecast error was well greater than an average forecast error. 

Especially private consumption has sustained the economic growth after the economic downturn. Increased exports and and investments spurred the accelerating economic growth of the year 2017. Also the increase of the private consumption supported the growth further.

- The economic forecasters underestimated the accelerating economic growth of 2017 at all points, notes professor Kari Heimonen. Even the most recent forecasts underestimated the positive growth of the export and investments by rule. The development of Finland surprised also the international forecasters (OECD and the European Commission) whose forecasts were more inaccurate than they had been for years. Once again we can note that the most accurate forecasts for the Finnish economy are made in Finland.

OP Financial Group has now won the annual contest three times. The prize was accepted by economist Joona Widgrén from OP Financial Group.