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ECONOMY

GDP to increase as bankruptcy rate falls

In its latest economic forecast Nordea, the financial services group, predicts a 3.4 per cent increase in GDP in 2005 and 3.0 per cent in 2006, primarily due to the strong domestic market.

Visible unemployment will fall from 5.1 per cent this year to 4.4 per cent in 2006.

The group also expects the Riksbank to raise the repo rate by 0.25 points in August with a repo rate of 2.50 per cent by year-end.

Consumers believe house prices will rise

A survey by SEB reveals that 57 per cent of households believe that house prices will rise in the next twelve months, as compared with 52 per cent last month.

Fewer bankruptcies

Fewer companies went into liquidation in 2004, according to the latest statistics. In the January-September period the number of bankruptcies decreased by 6 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2003. The number of employees in bankrupt companies totalled 16.400, a decrease of 21 per cent.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri

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ECONOMY

Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.

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