These sectors have been hit the hardest with the rising inflation in Finland.

Photograph: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

According to Statistics Finland, the Finnish inflation rate was 0.2% in September and October 2020. In the middle of every month, Statistics Finland collects around 21,000 prices for almost 470 commodities, ranging from gambling games to vegetables. This is then bolstered by more than 3 million additional items of price data, enabling the national statistical institute to monitor accurate month-on-month change when it comes to fluctuating inflation rates.

For the same period, the European inflation rate was approximately -0.3%, according to early data from the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices. Although this index doesn’t analyze data for all of the same commodities as Statistics Finland, the different between -0.3% and 0.2% is marked— suggesting that Finland has one of the highest inflation rates in Europe.

Rising inflation rates can affect almost every consumer area, from entertainment to financial loans. To find the most suitable loan in times of high inflation, many people choose to use a loan scouter (Lainaa heti). But for everyday payments, inflation means consumers have little choice but to pay more for their products.

Which Sectors Have Seen the Highest Inflation?

Statistics Finland’s research has identified the products and services which have seen the highest inflation rates. These include:

  • Vegetables
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • “Games of chance” (gambling games)
  • Medical appointment and treatment fees
  • Wireless telephone services
  • International flights

Throughout Finland, people can expect to pay more for these items and services than they would have done just one year ago. However, if you’re planning a staycation, it’s not all bad news—the institute has discovered that rising inflation rates have been mitigated by a reduction in the cost of hotel rooms and vehicle fuel.

Even better, its research has shown that the average interest rates on housing loans have also fallen. This potentially means that the market will start to become more accessible for people such as first-time buyers, as long as rising lending rates don’t cause housing loans to hike up too.

How Does Finland Compare to Europe?

Finland’s high inflation rate is nothing new. In the wake of the 2008–10 global financial crisis, Finland saw much higher levels of consumer price inflation than other euro-area countries, partly due to a fall in the number of Finnish exports since 2009. Other key factors have been the country’s aging population and a fall in housing construction.

However, although Finnish inflation is undoubtedly higher than many other European countries, it’s worth noting which sectors the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices didn’t take into account when compiling its data:

  • Games of chance (gambling games)
  • Interest rates
  • Fire insurance
  • Vehicle tax
  • Fishing and hunting fees

The fact that the index’s research does not include these products or services could mean that it’s not completely fair to compare Europe’s inflation rate of -0.3% to Finland’s 0.2%.

As Finnish inflation rates continue to rise, it’s important to be aware of which sectors have been hit the hardest. With the increasing cost of medical treatments a key cause for concern, analysts are hoping that prices will start to regulate as we enter the new year.