Year: 2022

Retail sector's growth spurt is over – commerce and consumers face uncertainty

According to a recent forecast by the Finnish Commerce Federation, the volume of retail trade turnover will shrink by 2.5 per cent this year and more next year. The increase in turnover in euros will be driven solely by rising costs and prices. If Finland and Europe drift into recession, the fall in trade will deepen. Safeguarding purchasing power is essential for the development of trade, and therefore reducing labour taxation should be a top priority for the next government. A rising price-wage spiral will not support purchasing power.  

A comprehensive report from the service sectors: Half of all companies have difficulties with recruitment, the share of foreign labour is growing in a third of all companies  

According to the sector skill survey of the Service Sector Employers Palta, the Finnish Commerce Federation, the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa and Finance Finland, half of the service companies in Finland have difficulties with recruiting competent labour. The sectors represented by the associations employ a total of about 1.3 million Finnish people, which is about two-thirds of the entire private sector. 

Turbulent times for household technology trade – Asian online stores cause wariness

The Finnish Commerce Federation research* found that Finnish people shopping for household technology most often turn to Gigantti, Prisma and Power stores and the online store. At the tail end of last year, the sales of household technology began to plummet from the high numbers bolstered by the pandemic, and the decline could continue for a long time to come due to logistical problems, COVID-19 lockdowns in China and component shortage. Finns are reluctant to buy used electronics, but this trend may change in coming years.

Stalling in the drafting of law hurts companies and consumers

The Finnish Commerce Federation is reminding the Ministry of Justice and Parliament to bear their responsibility with regard to the delayed implementation of EU consumer law. The Consumer Protection Act is being amended for the second time within a year in a way that requires commerce sector businesses to make considerable efforts. Nonetheless, companies are expected to adjust to the new obligations practically overnight. Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation, is dismayed by the fact that companies and consumers are being forced to take a hit from the delayed drafting of law.

Mask recommendation for shops lifted

The Finnish Commerce Federation and the Finnish Grocery Trade Association recommend that the national mask recommendation be lifted in shops. On 14 April, THL notified about the lifting of the general mask recommendation. These official instructions only apply to the mask use of customers. The employers shall continue to give their own recommendations based on their own risk assessment.  

Commerce sector pleased with the government’s RDI investments – structural reform and measures to strengthen employment still lacking 

In the view of the Finnish Commerce Federation, the decisions taken in the government’s budget framework session are mostly a step in the right direction, but insufficient in terms of reform. The commerce sector is satisfied with the government’s RDI decisions, as they will strengthen growth over the long term. It is also necessary to invest in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine and in ensuring Finland’s security. However, the session provided no new solutions to improve employment or dismantle incentive traps.