Sweden’s growth 'better than expected'
Paul O'Mahony · 18 Sep 2014, 16:49
Published: 18 Sep 2014 16:49 GMT+02:00
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The second-quarter figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB) also showed GDP up 0.7 percent compared to the first quarter.
The news will come as a boost for the Prime Minister elect, Stefan Löfven, as the agency revised its preliminary figures for the quarter upwards by 0.7 percentage points.
Financial experts have expressed concern over the “fog of uncertainty” brought on by political instability in a hung parliament.
Sweden’s currency, the krona, took a small hit in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s election.
“To some extent SCB had expected an increase since the preliminary figures come out so early,” Mats Dillén, director-general of the National Institute of Economic Research (NIER), told The Local.
“But it is still better than they expected and, to be honest, it’s also somewhat stronger than we had anticipated.”
Mats Dillén said the strong growth was fuelled partly by levels of household consumption that were “very strong in a European perspective.”
Investments in the housing sector were also having a positive effect, he said.
The export sector however remained sluggish, due mainly to low demand in the eurozone.
NIER was sticking to its general prognosis for the year, Dillén said, with early third-quarter figures showing that Swedish exports and a eurozone recovery were both “standing still somewhat”.
For Stefan Löfven the figures will provide some welcome impetus as he seeks to form a government but Dillén said the autumn slump meant the finance ministry would not get over-excited.
As for next year, “most observers expect there to be more growth allied with falling unemployment,” but OECD figures showing slow growth in the eurozone meant prospects remained “quite uncertain”, said Dillén.