Updated: 13.5.2016 - Next update: 14.6.2016

Inflation 0,3 per cent in April

The year-on-year change in consumer prices calculated by Statistics Finland was 0.3 per cent in April. In March, inflation stood at -0.0 per cent. The slight rise in inflation was influenced, for example, by increases in the consumer prices of the vehicle tax, maintenance charges, hospital fees and reimbursable prescription medicines from one year ago. Starting from January, the changes in consumer prices are calculated based on the new base year of the Consumer Price Index 2015=100.

Consumer prices were raised in April by increases in the vehicle tax, maintenance charges, hospital fees and reimbursable prescription medicines from one year ago. The rising of consumer prices was curbed most by reductions in the prices of liquid fuels and average housing loan interest rates from the year before. From March to April, consumer prices changed by 0.3 per cent.

Each mid-month, Statistics Finland's interviewers collect altogether around 48,000 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.

Statistical release

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.