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High oil prices threaten growth

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10:33 CEST+02:00
Oil prices hit record highs on Tuesday, raising fears for the economy. According to SEB chief analyst Håkan Frisén, sustained higher oil prices could mean that Sweden would lose some 20 billion crowns in export revenue next year. He forecast that Sweden might have to revise growth downward to just below 3 per cent next year.

And, according to Handelsbanken analyst Jan Häggström, record-high oil prices could dampen industrial production. Competition and price squeezes on the global market mean that there is little margin for manufacturers to raise prices.

Director general criticises budget

Ingemar Hansson, director general of the National Institute of Economic Research, is critical of the newly presented budget, saying it is likely to force up interest rates and that expenditure control is lax.

"It would have been better to keep some resources to cope with a future downturn in the economy," he said.

Finance Minister Bosse Ringholm defended the budget, saying, "Our assessment is that it is a well-balanced budget. We have idle capacity and there are too many without work at present."

Good advice hard to come by

A study from the Stockholm School of Economics reveals that sound advice is hard to find in the financial sector. Analysts buy and sell recommendations are seldom accurate, fund managers fail to beat their indices and day traders often suffer losses.

Spendrups drawn into bribery scandal

Spendrups has been drawn into the bribery scandal at Systembolaget, reported DI this week. Former subsidiary ÅkessonVin AB is suspected of having sent 139,494 crowns in travel vouchers to 15 managers at Systembolaget. Spendrups has sold its holding in the company since the news of the scandal broke.

Port blockade next step in strike

All flights to and from Sweden are likely to be cancelled on October 11 unless SAS manages to reach agreement with the Transport Workers' Union before that date.

Token strikes can also be expected, according to the Swedish Dock Workers' Association. The Association has plans to call out members in the petroleum sector and at Sweden's ports on 18 October and 1 November.

Customers flee Fortum

Three years ago power company Fortum had one million private customers in Sweden. Now the company has a mere 600,000 - a drop of 40 per cent.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri

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