(Adds background, economist quote)
HELSINKI, March 27 Finland's consumer confidence
hit a record high in March and industry confidence reached its
highest level since 2011, data showed on Monday, adding to signs
it may be on track for a recovery after a decade-long period of
The consumer confidence index rose to 22.9 points in March
from 20.8 points in February, Statistics Finland (SF) said,
compared with a long-term average for the indicator of 11.9
The indicator reached the same record peak once before in
the euro zone country, in September 2010.
"This is a definite signal of an upturn, but at the same
time I see it as a burst of pent-up optimism after years of
stagnation", said Juhana Brotherus, economist at Hypo Bank.
A year ago the confidence indicator for March was 10.4.
A separate gauge of industry confidence rose to +4 points
from a revised reading of +2 in February, the Confederation of
Finnish Industries said. The long-term average is +1 point.
Finnish gross domestic product (GDP) is still below levels
hot before the financial crisis in 2008 as its exports have been
hit by a string of problems, including a decline of Nokia's
former phone business, high overall labour costs and
a recession in neighbouring Russia.
Finland's economic growth accelerated in January and its
central bank lifted its growth forecasts for the coming years in
March, citing strong consumer confidence, recovering exports and
(Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Terje Solsvik and