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Swedes see net worth slashed

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12:13 CEST+02:00
Swedish households have become 400 billion kronor ($66 billion) poorer in the year's first three months.

According to a new report by SEB bank, this represents a dramatic 6 percent drop in Swedish households' net worth. In a press statement, SEB economist Gunilla Nyström put this down to a dwindling stock market and increased mortgages and loans.

"It is likely that households are starting to use up their savings in order to keep up with their consumption needs".

This would explain why household net savings were at a record minus 27 billion kronor for the quarter and debt is at a record high since 1996. Debt has risen by 38 billion kronor which represents a rise of 10 percent in the last 12 months alone.

Nyström is hopeful that Swedes will keep an eye on their wallets for now though. "What with a cooler housing market and higher interest rates, it is likely that households will be more careful about taking further loans".

Despite the downward trend, SEB's economist underlined that Swedish households' assets are in good shape, considering that they are still four times the debt figures.

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