Inflation 

Updated: 13.3.2015 - Next update: 14.4.2015
   
 
 
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Inflation -0.1 per cent in February

The year-on-year change in consumer prices calculated by Statistics Finland was -0.1 per cent in February. In January, inflation stood at -0.2 per cent. Inflation remained negative particularly as a result of lower prices of liquid fuels, owner-occupied dwellings, dairy products, cheese and eggs compared to February 2014.

In February, consumer prices were pushed up most by increases in rents, retail prices of tobacco products, and price increases in maintenance services of blocks of flats. The rising of consumer prices was curbed in February most by reductions in the prices of liquid fuels, owner-occupied housing and dairy products from the year before. From January to February, consumer prices rose by 0.3 per cent, which was primarily caused by higher prices of air transport, package tours and liquid fuels. From January to February, consumer prices decreased mainly due to cheaper bread, meat and dairy products.

Each mid-month, Statistics Finland's interviewers collect altogether around 50,000 prices on nearly 500 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. The Consumer Price Index 2010=100 Handbook for Users is available on the CPI-home page (www.stat.fi).

Statistical release

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.