A person holding an open purse with bills and coins in their hands. Statistics Finland’s preliminary data reveals that a euro does not go any further than it did in 2009, as rampant inflation dented the purchasing power of wage earners in 2022. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)


THE REAL INCOME of Finnish wage earners declined last year at a clip not seen for over six decades as rampant inflation curtailed the purchasing power of households, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Statistics Finland on Friday released preliminary data indicating that the real income of wage earners decreased by 4.4 per cent year-on-year in 2022, including by 5.7 per cent in the last quarter of the year.

The decline slowed down in the first quarter of this year, but it remained at 4.8 per cent compared with the previous year.

Finns’ real earnings have thereby collapsed roughly to the levels of 2009, a number of economists highlighted on social media. Hannu Nummiaro, an economist at Lähi-Tapiola, tweeted that real earnings have fallen by 8.1 per cent from their peak, wiping out the gains made in the past 14 years.

Real earnings refer to the earnings of people adjusted for inflation.

The decline in real earnings last year and early this year has been truly exceptional. Statistics Finland’s real earnings index had only declined twice in the past 15 years, in 2011 and 2015.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT