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Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed

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Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed
Shoppers in Stockholm. Photo: Simon Paulin/TT
11:30 CEST+02:00
Sweden's economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and was up 2.5 percent on the same period a year ago, according to figures released on Friday. But Swedes still appear to be holding back from swiping their cards at the nation's tills.
Top financial analysts that the latest figures released by Statistics Sweden proved that the economy was continuing to perform well in 2014.
 
"The Swedish economy is doing well," said Annika Winsth, chief economist at Swedish bank Nordea, adding that the country was experiencing "satisfactory growth" in line with previous predictions from the Riksbank, the country's central bank.
 
The growth figures are based on Sweden's GDP (which represents the total value of goods and services produced over a set length of time).
 
The rise of 0.4 percent in the first three months of the year followed a more unexpected rise at the end of 2014, when the Nordic nation's economy experienced a boost of 1.1 percent.
 
 
But the figures suggest that household consumption (the amount that Swedes spend at the shops or buying services) is still growing more slowly than expected, with savvy Swedes choosing to save any spare kronor instead.
 
Household consumption expenditures increased by 0.1 percent compared to the previous quarter when they were up 0.9 percent.
 
"It's a little unclear why," said Winsth, adding that she believed the slow progress in this area was likely to be temporary.
 
Prices of everyday goods and services have been stagnant for two years in Sweden and the nation has recently adopted record low interest rates as part of efforts designed to encourage inflation.
 
Earlier this month a key EU report predicted that Sweden's economy was set to strengthen in 2015 and the coming years, with "strong investment and a brightening outlook for exports".
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