Swedish firms’ borrowing surges

Swedish banks continued to increase lending to businesses in the first quarter of the year. Two out of three banks claimed that their loan levels were rising while at the same time saying that their expectations of future lending had never been as low as it is today.

The survey, carried out by ALMI Företagspartner, a state-owned body promoting business and entrepreneurship, covered the views of 150 bank managers.

Six out of ten of those interviewed said they expected higher interest rates and many anticipate a significant rise.

“The Swedish economy is really turning over and the demand for labour is high. The fact that banks are less optimistic about continued lending at the same time as loans are at record levels could be a signal that we have reached the top of a boom,” wrote Lars Mårdbrant, information director at ALMI, in a press statement.