Business Brief

Economic upswing losing steam

The economic upswing in Sweden and the rest of Europe lost some steam in August, according to the latest purchasing managers’ index for the industry culled by Föreningssparbanken/I&L.

In Sweden, the index fell to 56.3 last month from 57.8 in July. The setback concerns production, which has slowed down, although this could just be a temporary recoil. Order intake and companies’ production plans have not been affected that much over the past months.

SAS employees seek Pagrotsky’s help

Crisis-scarred SAS employees have sought the help of Industry and Trade Minister Leif Pagrotsky to avert a worsening of their work conditions. In a letter written by key mediator Synnöve Asklöf, the union warns that SAS cabin personnel may be forced to work 60 hours per week without overtime pay and meal breaks.

Low price chains press down food prices

Competition from low-price chain stores have pressed down food prices in Stockholm, a trend that is expected to continue as new foreign players enter the market. Danish chain store Netto opened three new shops in the capital on Friday.

Car sales decline

Concern about additional taxes on motoring has caused the latest drop in new car sales, reported DN, citing Bil Sweden figures. A total of 170,035 new private cars have been registered so far this year, down 1.8 per cent compared to the same 2003 period. However, DI noted that car sales were up 1.4 per cent in August, citing the same Bil Sweden report.

Meanwhile, truck sales rose by 32 per cent in August, according to Bil Sweden. While truck and car sales usually go hand in hand, the government’s musings over higher taxes spook car buyers, says Wolff Huber, president of Bil Sweden.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri