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Stockholm growth spurt forecast

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13:49 CET+01:00
After years of weak economic development and job cuts Stockholm will grow faster than average in the coming years, according to the latest report from Nordea on regional economy.

The bank has raised its growth forecast for the region and now predicts growth in the Mälardalen region to be 4.4 per cent in 2004 while for the rest of the country it will be 3.7 per cent.

Western Sweden can, however, expect lower growth in coming years. The main threat is the possible closure of GM's Saab Automobile plant in Trollhättan. Nordea warns that employment levels could fall by 4 per cent in the region.

Skåne is the region of Sweden that has coped best during the recession and integration in the Öresund region has been positive for development.

An increasing number of firms are relocating production to countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, which has a negative impact on industrial regions such as Småland and Western Sweden. At the same time, the number of jobs within the private sector continues to rise - since 1990 the percentage working in the sector has risen from 30 to 43 per cent.

Vodafone launches 3G

British Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator, has said that it will be launching 3G services in 13 European countries including Sweden in time for the Christmas rush.

The operator will be offering some of the latest phones on the market, including Sony Ericsson's V800, a megapixel camera phone, which could be a big seller.

Oriflame report

Oriflame, the cosmetics company, has posted net income of 133 million crowns for Q3 and an operating margin of 12.9 per cent. Sales amounted to 1.3 billion crowns, a drop of 5 per cent on Q3 2003. The firm has been forced to lower its sales forecast for 2004 from 10-15 per cent down to 7 per cent as growth has levelled off on the important Russian market, primarily as a result of an unsatisfactory product range.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri

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