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Swedes cut food budgets as crisis unfolds

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Swedes cut food budgets as crisis unfolds
17:51 CEST+02:00
Swedish consumers are choosing cheaper options in their weekly shop as the mounting eurozone debt crisis and fears of recession begin to bite.

The shift to cut-price items is the clearest trend shown in an economic status report from the Swedish Food Federation (Livsmedelsföretagen - Li) according to 41 percent of businesses responding to the survey.

In November 2010 the equivalent figure was 8.9 percent in the food industry organisation's survey.

"We are interpreting this definitely as a sign that households are keeping tabs on their money as precautionary measure before an impending recession," said Carl Eckerdal at Li to the Dagens Industri business daily.

The trend towards cut price items is a more long term, according to Jonas Arnberg, at HUI Research which follows trade development, to the news agency TT.

But Arnberg pointed out that this trend has less to do with the economic cycle and more to do with the possibility of buying in cheaper items from China. Furthermore new concepts have emerged onto the market, such as Lidl.

"In all sectors there is clear downward pressure on price. Over the past year is that the assortment has grown, one can buy low price, but also a little more expensive," he said.

"When you get into a situation like this, where household confidence has dipped significantly during the summer, it is natural to lean more towards the cheaper alternatives."

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