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Wednesday's papers: SDP support declines, saving energy at home, demise of a craft brewery

Pollsters tell HS it is too early to say if falling support for the Prime Minister's party is a long-term trend.

Experts Ilta-Sanomat spoke with recommend a temperature of 20–21 degrees Celsius in living areas at home. Image: Anu Heikkinen / Yle
Yle News

A fresh poll published in Wednesday's Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun)shows a one-month decline of 0.9 percentage points, to 19.2 percent, for the Social Democratic Party headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP).

The data for the poll was collected in late August until early September at a time when Marin's private life was being widely spotlighted by the media.

Sakari Nurmela, the research director of the polling organization Kantar, told HS that although the survey coincided with the leak of videos of the Marin partying in her free time, no direct connection between the results and that publicity can be drawn.

Nurmela added that it is yet to be seen if SDP's drop in support is a normal fluctuation or a longer-term phenomenon. In any case, with its current level of support, the SDP is the second most popular party in the country.

Meanwhile, this poll shows increased backing for the opposition National Coalition Party, up by 0.6 percentage points, and the Centre Party up by 0.8 percentage points.

The National Coalition Party, with the backing of over 23 percent of voters, continues in the lead. Slightly more than 16 percent of respondents voiced support for the Finns Party, fewer than the 17 percent it received in the last parliamentary election, but well above the 14 percent seen in a HS survey at the start of this year.

This latest poll also shows a slight increase in support for the Left Alliance, and a slight decline in backing for the Greens.

Slowing economy

The business and economic daily Kauppalehti reports that Finland's Labour Institute for Economic Research (Labore) has downgraded its growth forecast (siirryt toiseen palveluun)for Finland by 0.8 percentage points for next year due to the weakened international economic outlook.

Labore now forecasts that Finland's gross domestic product will grow by 1.8 percent this year and 0.7 percent next year. For the year 2024, Labore is predicting growth of 2.1 percent.

This research institute believes that Finland's trade with Russia will come to an almost complete halt and never return to previous levels. The stagnation of trade with Russia and the weakening of international export demand will reduce this year's economic growth by 1.5–2.0 percentage points. The war in Ukraine will continue to cause uncertainty.

According to the forecast, private consumption will continue to grow this year, although weakened by rapid inflation.

Households accumulated considerable savings during the pandemic and Labore believes the sudden contraction in real wages will push households to unload some of those savings this year. At the end of the year, however, private consumption will contract and will not grow very much next year.

Energy saving dos and don'ts

The energy crisis has created worries about future electricity bills, especially for people living in electrically-heated homes.

Ilta-Sanomat writes (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that while a lot of energy saving tips are available, the most important measures are often forgotten, and some of the most popular advice can end up being more expensive than one might imagine.

According to energy experts interviewed by this paper, the most effective way to save energy is to turn down the thermostat and cut back on the use of hot water.

Malkus Lindroos of the power company Vattenfall told the paper that allowing indoor temperatures to drop too low can lead to expensive structural damage to homes.

"This can happen even by accident if, for example, electric radiators are turned off completely and the heating is left to a heat pump alone," Lindroos points out.

Another misguided way to save money is by blocking ventilation ducts. The repairs for the resulting moisture damage can cost a lot more than the energy saved.

The experts Ilta-Sanomat spoke with recommend a temperature of 20–21 degrees in living areas at home. The ideal temperature in the bedroom is 18-20 degrees.

Temperatures lower than this can be in rooms that are not occupied. In stairwells of apartment buildings, the suitable room temperature is 17-18 degrees, in storage areas 12 degrees and in garages 5 degrees.

Big savings can also be made by reducing a 15 minute daily shower to just five minutes or less.

Brewery bankruptcy

A number of papers, including Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun), report that as widely expected, the Tampere-based Pyynikin Brewing Company has filed for bankruptcy.

The craft brewer, established in 2012, has produced numerous award-winning beers, as well as its own gins and vodkas. It also managed to export its beverages across Europe.

However, the company has been consistently in the red. According to press reports, the company generated a loss of no less than 3.7 million euros last year.

Now, not only will many thirsty connoisseurs miss their favourite brews, as a result of the bankruptcy the brewery's approximately 10,000 shareholders will probably lose their investment.

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