Labour productivity in the business sector continued to drop. The number of hours worked increased considerably more than output, and figures for the first half of 2008 show a productivity decrease that is the largest since the IT crisis in the beginning of the last decade. The productivity growth for goods producers has been especially unfavourable, with a sharp fall from the second half of 2007 to the first half of 2008.
Total employment continued upwards but the growth rate was lower than during the first quarter. The number of employed people with non-permanent jobs was lower than one year earlier. This was the case in the first quarter too and can be seen as a new trend compared to the previous development.
At the same time as there has been a weaker GDP growth, the price increases according to the consumer price index have accelerated. In August the inflation rate was 4.3 percent, which is a higher rate than in fifteen years. A large part can be explained by higher import prices, primarily on food and oil, and by the increasing interest rates. However, the price increases have not affected the whole economy.