Bills, bills bills: Beyoncé blamed for Sweden's inflation disappointment

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Bills, bills bills: Beyoncé blamed for Sweden's inflation disappointment
Is US superstar Beyoncé responsible for Swedish inflation? Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP

The decision of the US pop superstar Beyoncé to launch her global tour in Stockholm in May could have been responsible for that month's surprisingly high inflation figures, Swedish economists have claimed.


According to Danske Bank, the two sold-out performances from the singer lauded as "Queen Bey" contributed to sky-high hotel prices in the Swedish capital as over 45,000 fans each night scrambled for rooms. 

Michael Grahn, the bank's chief economist in Sweden, estimated in a tweet that the singer's performances had pushed up inflation by 0.2 percentage points, accounting for the majority of the 0.3 percentage point rise in hotel prices in May, and as a result explaining part of the unexpectedly high inflation rate. 

"Beyoncé's start of her world tour in Sweden seems to have coloured May inflation, how much is uncertain, but probably 0.2 p.p. of the 0.3 p.p that hotels/restaurants added," Grahn wrote in his tweet. "Perhaps also hiked concert ticket prices (recreation). Otherwise as expected."

He later told the Financial Times that the singer's impact was "quite astonishing for a single event".

"We haven’t seen this before,” he said.

Sweden’s year-on-year inflation rate fell to 9.7 percent in May, according to the consumer price index measurement (CPI), down from 10.5 percent in April.


According to Bloomberg, that’s slightly less than most forecasts, which had predicted that it would drop to 9.5 percent. 

Beyoncé's Stockholm performances have already made the news in Sweden, after the singer told the audience in Brussels, her second destination in the tour: "You have been the best audience so far", which fans interpreted as a veiled critique of the less than lively Swedish effort. 


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