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Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Lidl is rolling out a price freeze. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Lidl freezes food prices, Stockholmers are getting healthier (but not all Stockholmers) and a bank warns your mortage rate could see a nasty increase. Here's the latest news.


Stockholmers healthier – but not all Stockholmers

Stockholmers live longer, smoke less and fewer are dying in heart attacks, stroke and cancer, according to a new public health study by the regional authority.

Twenty years ago, five times as many Stockholmers died in a heart attack and three times as many died of strokes. Seven out of ten cancer patients today recover.

But the report, cited by the TT newswire, warns of large socio-economic health gaps. Stockholmers who continued studying after high school enjoy five and a half times longer life expectancy than those of their fellow residents who never graduated.

Swedish vocabulary: public health – folkhälsa


Lidl to cut and freeze food prices next week

Grocery chain Lidl has announced that it will on Monday lower and freeze the price on more than a hundred items, for example coffee, milk and meat, for at least two months.

Prices will on average be cut 11 percent, according to Lidl.

“We have chosen a large number of popular products which we will give a lower standard price. These measures will cost money, but we are prepared to face that cost and do what it takes to support Swedish households in these times of financial challenges,” Lidl’s Sweden chief Jakob Josefsson said in a press statement.

Households’ grocery bills are soaring in Sweden, as The Local has previously reported. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages last month rose 21 percent year-on-year, the biggest increase since the 1950s, eclipsing even the high-inflation years of the 70s.

“I hope the large food giants will follow [Lidl’s] example,” tweeted Sweden’s Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson.

Swedish vocabulary: food – mat


Sweden’s parliament votes by huge majority in favour of Nato

Sweden's parliament voted to ratify the country's accession to Nato, with its historic bill to end non-alignment passing with a margin of 269 to 37.

During the six-hour debate over the bill, Sweden’s foreign minister, Tobias Billström, said he was convinced that the country’s membership would be ratified by Turkey and Hungary, the two hold-outs in the 30-member defence alliance, before the summit due to be held in Vilnius in the second week of July.

Only two of the eight parties in the Swedish parliament voted against the bill, the Left Party and the Green Party, with their MPs providing all of the 37 “no” votes. A further 43 MPs were absent.

Swedish vocabulary: a bill – ett lagförslag

‘New era’: Swedish bank warns mortgage interest rate could hit five percent

A new property report from Swedish bank Handelsbanken predicts that property prices will continue to fall throughout the spring as the average interest rate on mortgages rises to over five percent.

“We don’t see any indications that Swedish inflation is on its way down, rather the opposite, and we believe the risk of financial instability currently weighs heavier for the central bank,” Handelsbanken’s head economist, Christina Nyman, said.

The bank predicts that Sweden’s central bank will raise key interest rates by 0.75 percentage points in April and 0.5 percentage points in June, to a total of 4.25 percent, and the knock-on mortgage interest rate for consumers is likely to be higher than that.

“Given our prognosis of the central bank’s key interest rate, the average variable rates offered by banks on mortgages could rise over five percent over the year, later dropping somewhat,” said Nyman.

Swedish vocabulary: a mortgage – ett bostadslån


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