Nordea predicts mixed prospects for Sweden

Nordea predicts mixed prospects for Sweden
The Swedish economy is going to be improving slowly over the next few years, and it will be households keeping the wheels turning, according to a new outlook report from Swedish bank Nordea.

The bank predicts that the Riksbank will decrease interest rates by 0.5 percentage points this year.

“With low inflation, a weaker labour market, low policy rates internationally and a risk of further SEK appreciation, the Riksbank should cut rates this year,” Nordea analyst Torbjörn Isaksson wrote in the report.

Nordea predicts a growth of 1.2 percent in 2012 and 1.8 percent the year after. Unemployment will rise above 8 percent during winter, according to the report.

According to the report, Swedish industry has been weighted down by weak demand for Swedish exports from the rest of the world, while the krona has been strong.

But Nordea predicts that the situation will improve next year when the Eurozone economy is believed to improve. A better Eurozone outlook will lead to increased demand and a weaker krona.

“The SEK has become a safe-haven currency in 2012. The reasons are the modest exposure of the Swedish economy to troubled areas, solid public finances and a highly competitive business sector that generates surprisingly strong growth and increased interest rate differentials,” Isaksson wrote in the report.

Overall, Nordea predicts mixed prospects for the second half of 2012, forecasting a subdued growth short term but a pick-up in activity in the long term.

“A benign situation for households, a slightly more expansionary economic policy and a global economy that gradually recovers are the factors that will underpin higher GDP growth in coming years,” Isaksson wrote.

Due to global weakness, growth will only accelerate slowly and unemployment will not decline until the latter part of the forecast period, according to Nordea’s analysts, who despite this predict stable finances for Swedish households.

Rebecca Martin

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