Swedish inflation slows to near zero

Swedish inflation slowed to 0.2 percent in March from 0.9 percent in February, Statistics Sweden (SCB) said on Tuesday.

The fall is due primarily to lower interest rates and therefore mortgage payments for home owners.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent from February to March, an increase attributed primarily to higher prices for clothing, shoes and petrol.

The increase was however countered by lower interest rates and further price decreases on electricity, the agency said.

Sweden’s central bank (Riksbanken) has, like many of its peers around the world, dramatically slashed its main interest rate in recent months, with the rate falling from 4.75 percent in September to the current 1.0 percent.

The bank has hinted that it is prepared to slash the rate to zero at its next meeting later this month in an attempt to stem the effects of the economic crisis.

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