July Economy Round-Up

New €50 bank notes / Credit: Central Bank of Finland

New figures released by Statistics Finland and one of the country’s most prominent brands, give insights to how Finland’s economy is changing.

The consumer price index – which is based on 50,000 prices of nearly 470 commodities from approximately 2700 outlets – showed that the annual change in consumer prices was +0.5 per cent in July, compared with one year previously.

The rise was fueled by increases in vehicle tax, electricity, cigarettes and rent. But it was curbed somewhat by reductions in prices of mobile phone, games of chance, used car prices, and decreases in housing loan interest rates.

Construction Boom Continues

In the construction industry, net sales grew by 8.7% from March to May this year. While there is growth across all sectors of the industry, the strongest rise was in building construction, which generated 12.8% more sales than a year earlier.

CEO Salary Donations

Meanwhile Kone’s CEO Antti Herlin and a member of Kone’s Board of Directors Matti Alahuhta say they have donated more than 5% of their salaries to good causes in recent years.

Herlin, Alahuhta and CEO of OP Financial Group Reijo Karhinen promised in summer 2015 that they would make the 5% donations to a good social cause. However, Taloussanomat newspaper reported recently that OP’s Karhinen had failed to keep that promise. He has since said that he will be donating 5% of his salary to Helsinki Mission charity.

Kesko Group Results

Kesko Group’s sales were bullish in July. Sales before VAT amounted to €856.3 million – that’s up 2.7% from last July’s numbers.

In Finland, sales increases 3.3% year-on-year and totaled €651.4 million in July.

Kesko’s CEO Mikko Helander says the company saw growth in all of its business areas. Highlights include groceries, up 1.5% from last July’s numbers; and car sales up 10.9%.