Swedes more downbeat about the economy

Consumer confidence continues to fall in Sweden, with more households taking a negative view of the economy.

The National Institute of Economic Research’s Consumer Confidence Indicator (CCI) dropped from 5.9 in January to 0.9 in February, a level not seen since early 2004 and well below the historical average of 5.0.

Additionally, the number of households believing the Swedish economy has worsened in the past year has more than doubled in the last six months, from 14 percent in August 2007 to 33 percent today.

The Institute’s research also points to increasing gloom about the prospects for Sweden’s economy in the future.

In the past year, the number of households projecting further deterioration in economic conditions for the year ahead more than doubled from 19 percent to 41 percent. Conversely, the number of household predicting economic improvements shrank from 35 percent to 15 percent between February 2007 and February 2008.

On the positive side, households remain cautiously optimistic about their personal finances.

While the Institute’s index measuring personal finances dropped slightly, it remains just above the historical average.

Nearly 30 percent of households see their personal finances as better than a year ago, while 15 percent feel that their family budgets have deteriorated.

In addition, three out of four households project that they’ll have household budget surpluses in the next twelve months.