Swedish economy on the up

The Activity Index - an aggregate of five economic variables including the index for industrial production, the number of hours worked for employees in the government sector, sales in the retail trade, and the imports and exports of goods – increased in April, according to a report by Statistics Sweden.

The Activity Index, which gauges activity in the Swedish economy, increased 0.4 percent, which corresponds to an annual rate of 5.4 percent, SCB reported.

The increase was affected by increased industrial production and stable retail sales growth.

The change in the trend for the period April 2005 to April 2006 was 5.1 percent. The seasonally adjusted index went up by 0.3 percent in April compared to March.

The index is calibrated to GDP measured as an index (Year 2000=100) so that there is no bias for any quarter for ex-post actual data. Estimates of the trend and the seasonal adjusted values of the Activity index may differ from the corresponding for GDP.


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.