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Press release 14.4.2005

Inflation accelerated to 1.0 per cent in March

According to Statistics Finland, the year-on-year change in consumer prices, i.e. inflation, accelerated to 1.0 per cent in March. In February it was 0.2 per cent. This acceleration was expected because the fall in alcohol tax one year ago ceased to influence inflation.

Consumer prices were put up most in the year by higher prices of liquid fuels and rent increases. Risen prices of food, especially of fruit and vegetables, also had an impact on inflation. Prices of catering services and prices of dwellings and their renovation and maintenance costs also rose from the year before. The rise in consumer prices was curbed most by lower telephone charges and fallen prices of entertainment electronics. Reduced prices of used cars and cuts in interest rates also diminished inflation.

From February to March, consumer prices rose by 0.4 per cent. The rise was mainly due to the ending of seasonal sales of clothes and higher prices of liquid fuels.

Each mid-month, Statistics Finland interviewers collect around 50,000 prices on 492 commodities from approximately 3,000 outlets for the Consumer Price Index. In addition, some 1,000 items of price data are gathered by centralised collection.

Year-on-year change in consumer prices 1/2001 - 3/2005

Index point figures are available here (only in Finnish): Consumer Price Index 2000=100

Source: Consumer Price Index 2005, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mr Timo Koskimäki +358 9 1734 3479, Mr Juhani Pekkarinen +358 9 1734 3476, Ms Mari Ylä-Jarkko +358 9 1734 3310,