FINLAND'S GNP FALLS
AS DOWNTURN CONTINUESHELSINKI, Finland - Finland's inflation-adjusted gross national product fell 1.4 percent in January, compared with January last year, the state-run Institute of Statistics said Tuesday. Finland had enjoyed high and relatively stable economic growth throughout the 1980s, but the economy is now showing serious signs of a downturn.
During last-quarter 1990, Finland's GNP dropped 3.0 percent. Overall growth last year was only 0.3 percent, compared with 5.0 percent growth in 1989.
The private economic research institute Pellervo forecast that unemployment, which last year averaged 3.5 percent of the available workforce, is expected to reach 6.5 percent this year.
Imports also are expected to fall by 7.0 percent as home demand continues to fall. Exports, which grew 2.2 percent in 1990, are expected to fall 5.0 percent.
FRANCE'S INSEE PREDICTS
SLOWER GROWTH IN 1991
PARIS - French gross domestic product growth is likely to slow to an annual 1.5 percent rate in 1991, from 2.6 percent in 1990 and 3.7 percent in 1989, the National Statistics Institute, Insee, said Tuesday.
"At the beginning of 1991, the French economy is stricken by a lack of demand both domestic and foreign. In the absence of signs of immediate recovery, GDP growth should reach an annual rate of 1.5 percent," Insee said in its latest forecast. The government has forecast 2.0 percent GDP growth for 1991.
An Insee economist presenting the survey, noted that France's GDP growth in the first quarter was almost flat.
KOREAN ECONOMY SEEN
GROWING 8.9 PERCENT IN '91
SEOUL, S. Korea - The South Korean economy is expected to grow at a higher rate this year than originally expected as exports recover despite a slowdown in domestic demand, the Bank of Korea said Tuesday in a report.
The central bank said in a revised economic outlook that South Korea's real gross national product is likely to grow by 8.9 percent in 1991, compared with 9.0 percent in 1990 and 6.8 percent in 1989. The bank's original forecast of economic growth in December was 7.3 percent for 1991.
The country's customs-cleared exports are expected to rise 10.0 percent to US$71.5 billion in 1991 from $65 billion in 1990, the bank said.
Bank of Korea said the country's exports will be boosted by a recovery in exports to Europe, South East Asia and socialist countries.
FOREIGN BANK LENDING
JUMPS 10 PERCENT IN JAPAN
TOKYO - Outstanding loans by foreign banks in Japan reached a record high of 9.47 trillion yen ($70 billion) in March, up 10 percent from February, according to Bank of Japan figures.
The sharp rise was driven mostly by corporate demand, especially among non-bank financial companies, to meet settlements for the end of the fiscal year, a bank official said.
But lending by foreign banks here shows signs of tapering off and April's balance likely will be lower than the March total because the added seasonal demand will be absent, the official said.
Foreign banks also have shown signs of curbing lending growth to the non- bank companies because their outstanding balance of loans is already high and those loans could be endangered by further bankruptcies among the non- banks, the bank official said.