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Inflation slows slightly in February as trade picks up

Growth was strongest in the electrical and electronics industry, with turnover leaping by 14.4 percent in the past year.

Finland's electronics industry posted strong gains ni turnover from early 2018 to early 2019. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Finland's annual inflation rate stood at 1.1 percent in March, edging down from February's 1.3 percent, according to Statistics Finland. Product segments where prices dipped included vegetables, mobile phones, televisions, detached houses and children’s day care fees.

Pushing the inflation rate up meanwhile were higher costs for electricity, house repairs, cigarettes, petrol, banking fees and rents.

Finland's inflation rate was slightly lower than that of the whole eurozone. According to the preliminary data on the EU's Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, the inflation rate in the euro area was 1.4 percent in March, down by one tenth of a percentage point from February.

Electronics and forest sectors growing briskly

Among a raft of other economic data released by the central statistics bureau on Monday, overall trade turnover was by up by 1.7 percent in February compared to a year earlier. Turnover grew across all trade industries.

The biggest jump in turnover was in the motor vehicle sector, where it rose by 2.6 percent. Automotive sales meanwhile increased even more briskly, by 3.2 percent year-on-year.

In the wholesale business, turnover edged up by 1.4 percent, but sales actually dipped by the same amount. On the retail side, turnover rose by 1.8 percent with sales lagging somewhat at a 1.6 percent increase from February 2018.

Manufacturing turnover was up by 5.3 percent from the previous February. Growth was strongest in the electrical and electronics industry, leaping by 14.4 percent, followed by the forest products sector at eight percent and metals by just under six percent.

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