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January retail sales up 4.8 percent

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16:18 CET+01:00
Swedes haven't yet let concerns about the economy dampen their consumption, with retail sales figures for January up 4.8 percent compared with a year ago.

Sales of food and other consumables were up 3.1 percent, while durable goods purchases rose 6.0 percent, according to fresh figures from Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI)

“It's clear that the financial worries that are causing economic analysts to revise their forecasts have not yet reached Swedish households,” said HUI in a statement.

“The strong results for January show that household purchasing power remains robust.”

However, the agencies' overall consumption index dipped slightly from December to January, ending the month down 0.2 percent to 115.3, where 2005 consumption levels equal 100.

Overall retail sales for the three months ending in January 2008 were also down 0.2 percent from the previous three month period.

While HUI admits its reluctance to make any long term conclusions based on the early figures, the agency nevertheless projects 2008 will be a strong year for retail trade, forecasting an increase of 5 percent.

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