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Finland sees 9.1% inflation rate in December

Food was 16 percent pricier in December than a year earlier.

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The biggest food price hikes over the course of last year were for grains (45%), eggs (37%) and butter (36%). File photo of a shop till. Image: Sara Aaltio / Yle
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Finland's average inflation rate was 7.1 percent in 2022, Statistics Finland reported on Friday.

Last month consumer prices were 9.1 percent higher than in December 2021. The agency particularly cited higher electricity costs and rising credit interest rates as the cause.

The inflation rate in November was 10.1 percent, but continued price hikes were restrained by a relative decline in petrol and diesel prices, according to the number-crunching agency.

Electricity was 64 percent more expensive in December than the same month the previous year, while mortgage interest rates rose by 124 percent.

Pricier food

Meanwhile, the cost of food in December was 16 percent higher than the same month the previous year, according to the agency.

The biggest food price hikes over the course of last year were for grains (45%), eggs (37%) and butter (36%).

However, Statistics Finland's head actuary, Kristiina Nieminen, explained that the rate of food price increases are expected to slow down somewhat this year. But they will continue to rise.

"In the beginning of the year, we'll see strong growth figures. There's also so much legacy inflation from last year, that even if there are no changes in price or taxation, the price of food will still rise by around 5.7 percent annually," Nieminen said.

At the same time, the PTT economic research institute's research director, Sari Forsman-Hugg, said that she expects food prices to rise by an average of three to four percent.

"The biggest increases will be seen in the beginning of the year, but then the upward pace will decline and prices could even decrease. The price level will still remain at a higher than usual level," Forsman-Hugg explained.

Construction costs up too

Prices also rose in the construction sector in December, with an overall increase of 5.3 percent, year-on-year.

Statistics Finland reported that thermal insulation prices rose by 17.8 percent and heat, water and sewer material prices increased by 17.1 percent. However, a drop in the cost of timber structures continued to decrease by 7.6 percent.

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