Inflation

Updated: 14.9.2017
Next update: 13.10.2017

Inflation 0.7 per cent in August

The year-on-year change in consumer prices calculated by Statistics Finland was 0.7 per cent in August. In July, inflation stood at 0.5 per cent. The slight increase in inflation was caused by a rise in the prices of detached houses.

Consumer prices were raised most in August from one year ago by increases in the consumer prices of the vehicle tax, electricity, petrol and cigarettes. The rising of consumer prices from twelve months ago was curbed most by reductions in prices of mobile phones, games of chance and used cars, as well as decreases in housing loan interest rates. From July to August, consumer prices changed by 0.3 per cent, which was mainly caused by price increases in vegetables and clothes.

Each mid-month, Statistics Finland's interviewers collect altogether around 50,000 prices on nearly 470 commodities from approximately 2,700 outlets for the Consumer Price Index. In addition, some 1,000 items of price data are gathered by centralised collection.

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Source: Statistics Finland / Consumer price index
Description of indicator

The Consumer Price Index is used as a general measure of inflation.

The Consumer Price Index describes the price development of goods and services purchased in Finland by households resident in Finland. The Consumer Price Index is calculated with a method in which the prices of different commodities are weighed together with their shares of consumption.

Consumer price indices that are reviewed at intervals of a fixed number of years are suitable for short-term examinations. The Cost-of-living Index is a long time series calculated from the latest Consumer Price Index and its development, therefore, follows the Consumer Price Index. Many rents, such as those on dwellings, business premises or land, are usually tied to the Cost-of-living Index.

Along with economic growth, the unemployment trend and the fiscal balance, inflation has a key impact on economic conditions in Finland. High and volatile inflation is detrimental to the economy, consumers and businesses. An effort is made to stabilise the development of inflation, because instability of inflation causes market uncertainty and inefficiency, and adversely affects the planning of investments and savings. The effects of inflation are reflected in ordinary consumers’ purchasing behaviour and purchasing power, and also in companies’ willingness to invest.

The goal of efforts to combat consumer price inflation is to create the best possible conditions for economic activity. Success in achieving targets depends closely on examining the inflation outlook and on making an as timely a response as possible to any acceleration in inflation. Alongside the traditional inflation indicator, the term structure of interest rates and other economic development indicators should be examined. Real-time data, the reliability brought by exactitude, and the adherence of indicators to future expectations play a key role in the choice of economic indicators.