“Sweden’s position in Europe remains strong,” Statistics Sweden said, noting Sweden had experienced growth that was “significantly higher than the European average.”
The growth, the strongest recorded in Sweden since the second quarter last year, is significantly higher than analysts’ forecasts.
They had predicted the economy would see weak growth, be flat or even contract, with a survey by Dow Jones Newswires forecasting an average increase of 0.3 percent.
Sweden’s first quarter economic health contrasts sharply with that of countries in the eurozone, of which it is not a member.
Many eurozone countries have registered weak quarterly data, such as Germany which reported 0.1 percent growth, or were in recession, such as France which saw its economy shrink by 0.2 percent.
Sweden’s “upside surprise is mainly due to stronger inventories” while “domestic demand (was) mixed,” SEB bank analyst Erica Blomgren commented on Twitter.
She said “private and public consumption (were) stronger than expected but investments (were) very weak.”