Consumer prices skyrocketed in February, driven by higher food, electricity and mortgage costs
Food prices in Finland saw a historic jump of 16.3% last month in annual terms, according to official data released on Tuesday. The figure represents the highest price growth since 1964, the country’s statistics agency reported.
Data showed that the high cost of electricity, food, and increased loan interest rates were the main drivers of inflation on an annual basis.
According to the report, the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy prices, continued to rise sharply and reached 6.6% in February.
Jukka Appelqvist, chief economist of Finland’s Central Chamber of Commerce, said that while prices may not continue to rise as rapidly as in February, the persistence of inflationary pressures is a major economic risk. The official noted that there were no signs of an uncontrollable spiral of prices and wages falling in the country. However, he warned that a stable and low inflation rate is unlikely to happen in the near future.
The prolonged tight monetary policy and rising interest rates could lead to a deeper recession than anticipated, Appelqvist suggested.
The EU nation sank into recession in the fourth quarter last year after GDP had shrunk more than expected from the previous three-month period. The decline was led by exports, investments and consumption, official data shows.
Economists have projected a mild recession for the Finnish economy this year before a rebound in 2024.
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