Sluggish Swedish economy still beats growth forecasts

Sluggish Swedish economy still beats growth forecasts
Sweden's economy expanded by 0.5 percent in the third quarter from the second and by 0.7 percent year-on-year, data released Thursday by Statistics Sweden (SCB) showed.

The figures beat the expectations of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had expected growth of 0.2 percent in the quarter and 0.5 percent for the 12-month period.

Household consumption was up by 1.3 percent and was the main driver of growth, SCB said.

“Growth was a little stronger than we thought it would be,” analyst Olle Holmgren at bank SEB told Swedish news agency TT.

“But it doesn’t change the overall image, that Sweden is in a slowdown period,” he said.

In its 2013 budget bill presented in September, Sweden’s centre-right government predicted growth of 1.6 percent this year, 2.7 percent next year and 3.7 percent in 2014.

But Finance Minister Anders Borg acknowledged last week that he would have to revise downward this year’s forecast due to the impact of the eurozone crisis on Sweden’s export-heavy economy.

Sweden’s central bank has predicted growth of 0.9 percent in 2012 and 0.7 percent in 2013.

AFP/The Local

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