Swedish economy beating European giants in 2016

Swedish economy beating European giants in 2016
New numbers from Statistics Sweden paint a positive picture. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT
New figures from a Swedish government agency show that the country's economy is comfortably outpacing European giants like Germany and Great Britain.

According to state-funded number-crunchers Statistics Sweden (SCB), the Nordic nation’s GDP grew by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016 in comparison to the same period last year. Growth was up as much as 4.9 percent during the final period of 2015, meanwhile.

Compare that to Great Britain, which saw GDP grow by only 2.1 percent in both quarters, and Germany, which saw 1.6 percent growth in the first quarter of 2016 and 1.3 percent in the final quarter of 2015 respectively, and the Swedish economy comes out well from the latest round of stats.

Reasons cited for Sweden’s positive movement include a strong construction sector, high household consumption and high public investment, and the Scandinavian country’s government was quick to highlight the health of its economy upon the release of the figures.

“It’s a stable, healthy growth,” Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told news agency TT. “We’re not on the road to overheating.”

The leading party of Sweden’s official opposition meanwhile has attempted to take its share of the credit by relating economic strength to the Moderate Party's governing both before and during the global financial crisis of 2008.

This positive nature of this week’s figures are in line with the release of a report last week from leading ratings agency Moody’s which suggested that Sweden has the best economic growth in the Nordics. At the same time however it also warned that declining world export shares could hurt a nation where foreign trade plays an important role.

And concerns over the condition of the export market were echoed on Monday by Nordea’s chief economist Annika Winsth, who explained that the strength of the krona is partially to blame.

“I’d like to see a bit more pressure from abroad. That’s a little worrying,” she told TT.