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Finland's inflation rate nears 8 percent in June

The last time Finland has seen inflation growing at a faster pace was in March 1984, the chief economist at the Finland Chamber of Commerce says.

Ihmisiä päivittäistavarakaupan kassoilla.
The rise in prices is likely to continue into autumn, after which the economy should begin to stabilise, according to chief economist Jukka Appelqvist. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

Inflation continued to grow in June rising to 7.8 percent, according to Statistics Finland. In comparison, the figure for May was 7.0 percent.

The upwards trend was particularly reflected in energy and food prices, according to the number-crunching agency.

"Since December last year, the prices of food and nonalcoholic beverages have risen by 10 percent, the prices of light fuel oil by 76 percent, diesel and petrol by 42 percent and electricity by 22 percent – that is, only in six months," Statistics Finland chief actuary Kristiina Nieminen told Yle.

Grocery shop goods cost in June 10.9 percent more than in the same period last year, the agency found.

Meanwhile, coffee, fish, flour and eggs were among the products to see the biggest price hikes.

Fresh fish eaters will have to pay around 46 percent more for seafood than six months ago. Another Finnish staple, potatoes, are also becoming more expensive, with customers charged some 22 percent more than a year ago.

By contrast, berries became more affordable than they were in June 2021, partly thanks to a successful strawberry harvest this season.

Pricy food may prompt less healthy diets

Rising prices may cause people in Finland to make less healthy food choices, according to head researcher at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Hanna-Maija Karikallio.

Cheaper products often contain more fat, sugar and additives.

"A staunch meat eater probably eats meat, but because of the price increase, he may choose a cheaper meat product. More affordable usually also means greasier," the researcher said, adding that for example, "pork-beef mixed minced meat with more than 20 percent fat is starting to reappear on store shelves after it had nearly disappeared. I'm sure we'll see more of this kind of transition."

In light of the rising prices, consumers are also more likely to choose supermarket label products, which are usually cheaper but are often not produced domestically.

"In some product groups, store label sales have increased by up to 20–30 percent," S-group director Sampo Päällysaho told Yle, adding however, that the weather has so far played a bigger role in consumer behaviour than inflation.

End in sight?

The last time Finland has seen inflation growing at a faster pace was in March 1984, according to chief economist at the Finland Chamber of Commerce, Jukka Appelqvist.

"It is not entirely impossible that June's figures will mark the peak of the inflation trend this year. What's more likely, though, is that we won't see the highest figures before autumn. After that, the pace should start to slow down at the end of the year and even more steeply at the beginning of next year. At the same time, inflation rates are expected to remain at a higher level next year than in recent years," Appelqvist said.

Edited at 13:05 to reflect June's inflation rate was 7.8 percent, not 7.9 percent.

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