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Finland Consumer Prices Fall Unexpectedly In January

Finland's consumer prices dropped unexpectedly at the beginning of the year, dragged down by the lower prices of petrol, fuel oil and food, figures from Statistics Finland showed Thursday.

The consumer price index declined 0.2 percent year-on-year in January, in contrast to a 0.5 percent increase in the previous month, which was the slowest rate of inflation since February 2010.

The latest decline was the first in at least four years.

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages fell 1.4 percent annually in January and transport costs plunged by 4.2 percent. At the same time, clothing and footwear prices went up 0.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices slid 0.7 percent in January, faster than December's 0.1 percent drop. It was the fourth consecutive monthly fall.

Meanwhile, the EU measure of inflation dropped in January, after easing in the previous three months.

The harmonized index of consumer prices decreased 0.1 percent annually in January, reversing a 0.6 percent rise in the prior month. The December's inflation rate was the slowest since February 2005, when it was 0.1 percent.

Month-on-month, the HICP declined for the fourth straight month by 0.7 percent in January, faster than a 0.1 percent slight fall in December.

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