Finland's inflation rate dropped to 5.2 percent year-on-year during May, having stood at 6.3 percent in April, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Finland on Thursday.
"We are going in the right direction from the consumers' point of view, although inflation is still so high that many people are still seeing the effects on their wallets," Juha Beurling-Pomoell, Secretary General of the Consumers' Union of Finland, told Yle Radio Finland.
Despite the slight slowing of the inflation rate, Beurling-Pomoell predicted that workers' purchasing power will weaken further this year, probably by a couple of percent, while the position of pensioners will improve by about 1 percent.
He also noted that the European Central Bank is likely to respond to the slowing rate of inflation by ending the policy of increasing interest rates.
"For the consumer, next year looks better right now than the last couple of years. Incomes will grow faster than spending," Beurling-Pomoell said, but added the caveat that we are living in "uncertain times" and there are many unknowable variables on the economic horizon.
Food, non-alcoholic beverages see biggest price hikes
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), published by Statistics Finland on Thursday, revealed that the biggest price increases observed last month were for food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose by 11.1 percent year-on-year.
Prices of alcohol and tobacco meanwhile increased by 5.09 percent year-on-year, while the increase in the restaurant and hotel category was 6.47 percent.
The HICP is used to monitor and compare inflation rates within the EU, but excludes items such as owner-occupied housing costs, gambling and interest on loans.
Statistics Finland will publish inflation figures based on the second index series, the Consumer Price Index, in the middle of the month.
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