• Sweden edition
 
Swedish economy hit by eurozone troubles

Swedish economy hit by eurozone troubles

Published: 29 Feb 2012 12:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2012 12:00 GMT+01:00

While Sweden's gross domestic product (GDP) actually grew by 1.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, the rate was well below the 2.6 percent estimated by analysts, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån, SCB).

The GDP figures for the fourth quarter were weaker than what had been expected by analysts, who had been predicting a rise by 2.6 percent compared to the same period in 2010 and a 0.8 percent decrease compared to the third quarter, according to news agency Reuters.

“That is a weak figure, even weaker than we had predicted and a lot worse than anticipated by the Riksbank,” said head economist at Swedish bank Nordea, Annika Winsth, to news agency TT.

“The consequence will be that the Riksbank will have to continue to cut interest rates,” said Winsth, who predicts a drop in repo rate to 0.75 percent by September.

The report showed that Swedish household consumption expenditures rose by 0.7 percent and general government consumption expenditures increased by 0.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Export increased by 0.6 percent and the import by 1.6 percent.

According to the report, Swedish export was affected by the the unstable international conditions and the net export showed a negative development for the first time since the second quarter of 2010, pulling down the GDP by 0.4 percentage points.

Seen over the whole of 2011 the GDP increased by 3.9 percent compared to 2010. Household spending rose by 2.1 percent. Transport costs and Swedes spending money abroad contributed most to the rise.

The figures also showed a rise in public spending by 1.8 percent over the whole of 2011, with export increasing by 6.8 percent and import by 6.1 percent.

Tor Borg, an analyst with SBAB bank, said that the growth figures, just as earlier inflation figures, were well below the Riksbank's prognosis.

“We are expecting them to cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage points at the next meeting, and these figures are endorsing that prediction a little,” Borg told TT.

The results for spending and export is what is especially worrying, according to Borg.

“Spending and export is somehow at the very centre of growth,” he told TT.

Two weeks ago, the central bank cut its key rate by 0.25 points to 1.50 percent, citing a weaker economic outlook due to dwindling growth in the neighbouring eurozone.

Europe accounts for 70 percent of Sweden's exports.

Ben May, an economist at Capital Economics research consultancy, said the fourth-quarter figure "brought the strongest evidence yet that the problems in the eurozone are taking their toll on Europe's healthiest economies."

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg also commented on Sweden's apparent economic slowdown.

"It's very clear that the Swedish economy stood still in October, November, December. They were very weak months," Borg told TT.

"This shows that Sweden is an open, small and dependent country. We are always affected when there is risk around us," he said.

He added that "several measures are being taken to stabilise the situation," but did not specify what those moves were.

Finance minister Borg said it was important to exercise caution and ensure that Sweden maintained maneuvrability in its economy, and said he saw two trends that were affecting the Swedish economy.

"On the one hand, the situation developed weakly at the end of last year, on the other hand, it looks like there has been a significant decline in uncertainty over the global economy."

Sweden has registered consistent growth since the second quarter of 2009, when it exited a one-year recession.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:34 February 29, 2012 by skatty
"This shows that Sweden is an open, small and dependent country. We are always affected when there is risk around us," he said.

There is risk around us, there is risk inside of us, there is risk upon us, and there is risk under us; so what,

The Borg is boring, who has been considered the man of economy (the best one, the best as usual like anything else in Sweden!)
19:54 February 29, 2012 by viennacalling
I have just tracked the exchange rates with currency online

Swedish Banks Norway Banks and the British Banks have taken advantage of the Loan from the ECB Euros that is and they have converted it to their respective currencies, so this has weakened the Euro

the swedish, norway and british central banks did not counter by buying the Euro, So this is proof that the reserve banks are not doing a good job and are making mistakes continuously

I checked Denmark and they Pegged at the right time and so did the Swiss

I really think the Swedish British and Norwegian finance ministers need an education !
08:03 March 1, 2012 by Marc the Texan
The central banks of Norway, Sweden and even Britain are too small to help the Euro. And why should they? Germany and France created the problem, the ECB flooded the Eurozone with cheap money in the early 2000s to prop up Germany. This created huge inflation in southern Europe with too much liquidity. Now Germany won't return the favor. The problem is the Euro. It is so flawed that the Eurozone will continue to suffer until the single currency breaks up. Who knows how long it will take, maybe partially this year or they could probably continue to impoverish themselves and keep this up for years. Depends on how much pain they are willing to take. Sweden will feel it by proximity, but Sweden is lucky not to be part of the single currency.
16:06 March 1, 2012 by the fonz
@#2 when exactly did the Swiss peg their currency?

I would suggest it's not the Finance Ministers that need an education!
22:37 March 1, 2012 by mibrooks27
If you sleep with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas. Sweden needs a close relationship with the Scandinavian country's, not with the EU. Oh, and it should reclaim it's North American colony. The American's have shown no ability to run a country.
05:38 March 3, 2012 by Marc the Texan
If Sweden reclaimed their North American colony, I would move there. They need to send lots of emigrants first. That's how Mexico is claiming the southwest.
10:59 March 3, 2012 by viennacalling
Hi Fonz the swiss pegged at 1.20 last year and have held this mark since

the swiss bank leader acknowledged that 1.30 is preferred but they whould have had difficulty holding this mark
Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

989
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN