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Swedish Christmas spending tops 50 billion kronor

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12:12 CET+01:00
Maybe Swedes have become more generous, or maybe the lack of snow has encouraged them to spend a little more on generating the Christmas spirit. Either way, in 2006 Swedish shoppers have spent more on Christmas than ever before, passing the magic 50 billion kronor mark.

The year's seasonal turnover is expected to settle at around 52 billion kronor, according to the Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI), which carried out the forecast for newspaper Dagens Industri.

Last year the total Christmas spend reached 48.2 billion kronor.

Despite the increase, Jonas Arnberg, analyst at HUI, was not satisfied.

"Christmas spending wasn't quite as strong as we thought. It's a record, but a cautious record," he told DI.

The forecast was based on telephone interviews with the country's leading retail firms. The results of the survey showed that December sales started slowly.

So far the year-on-year increase in turnover for the month is around 4-5 percent - somewhat lower than HUI's prediction of a 7.6 percent rise in 2006.

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