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Published: 10 July 2008

Growth in financial assets of households slowed down last year

Households continued to invest strongly in financial assets in 2007. However, their holding gains from investments remained modest and the growth of their assets was clearly weaker than in the past few years. This was due especially to a clear downturn in stock market trading over the year. Households' financial assets grew by a total of EUR 7 billion, as against EUR 16 billion in the previous year. By contrast, households' debts kept growing at almost the same rate as in the year before. These data derive from the preliminary financial accounts compiled by Statistics Finland.

A clear change took place in households' investment behaviour last year. Households invested as much as EUR 6 billion more in deposits, which is clearly more than ever before. By contrast, the net amount they invested in mutual fund shares failed to reach EUR 1 billion, whereas one year earlier the respective amount was nearly EUR 4 billion. Households reduced their net investments in quoted shares by EUR 1 billion. Saving into insurance schemes continued to grow. At the end of 2007, households' investments in financial assets totalled EUR 200 billion, of which EUR 62 billion were deposits, EUR 27 quoted shares, EUR 41 billion unquoted shares and other equity, EUR 42 billion insurance technical reserves and EUR 18 billion mutual fund shares.

Change in financial assets of households 1997-2007, EUR billion

Households' financial position remained in deficit in 2007. Debts continued to grow briskly and indebtedness, i.e. proportion of loans relative to disposable income, rose to 103 per cent. Debts went up by EUR 9 billion during the year.

Non-financial and financial corporations invested in foreign shares

As in the past few years, foreign shares and mutual fund shares attracted Finnish investors again. Non-financial corporations continued direct investments abroad, spending EUR 8 billion on them. Financial corporations also purchased foreign shares for EUR 3 billion. Employment pension schemes invested EUR 5 billion more in foreign mutual funds over the year and at the same time reduced their investments in foreign bonds by EUR 4 billion. At the turn of the year, EUR 379 billion worth of Finnish economic units' financial assets was invested abroad.

New investments in Finland from the rest of the world diminished from the previous year. Nevertheless, the value of the shares held by foreign owners grew by as much as EUR 40 billion to EUR 194 billion. At the end of the year, foreign investors held quoted shares to the value of EUR 153, equalling 64 per cent of the total value of Finnish quoted shares.

The financial accounts publication will be published in September. It will contain information on e.g. the used sources and methods. Revised data for 2007 will be published in January 2009.

Source: Financial Accounts. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Matti Okko +358 9 1734 3341, Ms Reetta Varjonen-Ollus +358 9 1734 3533, rahoitus.tilinpito@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mr Ari Tyrkkö

Financial accounts describe the financial assets and liabilities of the sectors of national economy and the financial transactions and other flows that influence their amounts. Financial accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995) in all EU member states. Statistics Finland compiles financial accounts covering all sectors annually, but data on general government and domestic quoted shares are also available quarterly.

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Last updated 10.7.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Financial accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=1458-8145. 2007. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.2.2024].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rtp/2007/rtp_2007_2008-07-10_tie_001_en.html