Sweden?s economy grows in second quarter

Sweden’s gross national product (GNP) grew by 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004.

Preliminary figures from Statistics Sweden also showed that GNP for the period was up 0.6 percent on the first quarter of 2005.

According to Dagens Nyheter, the figures were better than economists had expected.

Higher consumer spending accounted for more than half of the increase. This figure was up by 2.7 percent overall, with car purchases up 4 percent, and high street sales up 6.9 percent.

The figures also showed that both exports and imports rose between April and June, with imports rising more quickly than exports. Production was up 2.8 percent, while the number of hours worked increased by 1 percent, boosted mainly by booms in construction and manufacturing.

Cecilia Hermansson, economist at Förenings Sparbanken, told Svenska Dagbladet that domestic consumption was driving growth, but said that it would be some time before employment figures started to reflect the success of the economy.

“It is important that investments have increased, but strong growth over a longer period will be needed before employment picks up.”

Front page photo: Bo Lind; Copyright: Swedish Travel and Tourism Council; Source:imagebank.sweden.se