Wednesday September 13 2017
Swedish Q2 GDP Growth Revised Down to 1.3%
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Swedish economy advanced 1.3 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2017, below the preliminary estimate of 1.7 percent and following a 0.6 growth in the previous period, final figures showed. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the last quarter of 2015, mainly boosted by net exports and government spending.

Exports rebounded 2.3 percent, following a 1 percent drop in Q1; and imports increased at a slower 1.5 percent, easing from a 1.7 percent advance in the previous period.

Also, general government expenditure rose 0.2 percent after contracting by 0.2 percent in the previous quarter; while gross fixed capital formation grew 2.5 percent after rising by 4.1 percent in Q1, and household consumption went up 0.7 percent, slower than a 0.9 percent gain in the previous period. Changes in inventories subtracted 0.1 percentage points to the growth. 

On the production side, production of goods increased by 2.4 percent (1.3 percent in Q1) and service-producing industries grew by 0.9 percent (0.5 percent in Q1). 

Employment, measured as the total number of hours worked, increased by 0.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, and the total number of persons employed rose by 0.6 percent.

Year-on-year, the GDP advanced 3.1 percent, also below an earlier estimate of 4 percent and following a 2.3 percent growth in the previous period. It was the strongest pace of expansion in a year.




Thursday September 07 2017
Sweden Holds Repo Rate at -0.5%
Riksbank | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Sweden held its benchmark interest rate at -0.5 percent on September 7th, 2017, as widely expected, saying monetary policy needs to remain expansionary for inflation to continue to be close to 2 per cent. The central bank added that it does not expect to raise the repo rate until the middle of 2018 and that purchases of government bonds will continue during the second half of 2017, as decided in April.

Excerpts from the Statement by the Executive Board of the Riksbank:

The economic signals from abroad are good, but global inflation remains subdued. Compared with the forecast in July, there are now expectations of a somewhat more expansionary monetary policy in many countries that are important to Sweden.

Economic activity in Sweden is strong; GDP grew rapidly in the second quarter and the employment rate is at a historically high level. Inflation has continued to rise and in recent months been higher than expected. The outcomes are partly explained by temporary factors, but even disregarding this, inflation has been stronger than expected.

However, it has taken time and a great deal of support from monetary policy to bring up inflation and inflation expectations. Although there has been a broader increase in prices for services recently, economic activity needs to continue to make an impact on price development. This is underlined by, for instance, weak growth in cost pressures so far this year. It is also important for the development of inflation that the krona exchange rate does not appreciate too quickly. This could happen if, for example, the Riksbank's monetary policy deviates too far from that of other countries.

Given this, the Executive Board of the Riksbank has decided to hold the repo rate unchanged at -0.50 per cent and does not expect to raise it until the middle of 2018. Purchases of government bonds will continue during the second half of 2017, as decided in April. At the end of the year, the purchases of government bonds will thus amount to a total of SEK 290 billion, excluding reinvestments. Maturities and coupon payments will be reinvested until further notice. CPIF inflation is expected to be close to 2 per cent in the coming years, with continued support from monetary policy.

Just as before, the Executive Board is prepared to implement further monetary policy easing if necessary to stabilise inflation and safeguard the inflation target. All of the tools that the Riksbank has described earlier can, as always, be used if necessary.

Monetary policy needs to be expansionary to safeguard the role of the inflation target as nominal anchor for price-setting and wage formation. But the low interest rates at the same time contribute to increasing the risks linked to high and rising household indebtedness. To achieve long-term sustainable development in the Swedish economy, these risks need to be managed via targeted measures within housing policy, taxation policy and macroprudential policy.




Monday August 28 2017
Swedish Trade Balance Swings to Deficit in July
Statistics Sweden |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden recorded a trade deficit of SEK 0.5 billion in July of 2017 compared to a SEK 0.0 billion a year earlier. Exports rose 9 percent while imports increased at a faster 10 percent. Considering the first seven months of the year, the country's trade surplus widened to SEK 3.5 billion from a SEK 1.1 billion a year earlier. Both exports and imports jumped 11 percent.

In July, exports amounted to SEK 94 billion and imports were at SEK 94.5 billion. Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 9.7 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 10.2 billion. 

The number of weekdays in July 2017 was the same as in July of 2016.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade deficit narrowed to SEK 0.2 billion from SEK 0.6 billion in June. The corresponding figure for May was a SEK 1.0 billion shortfall.

Considering the first seven months of 2017, both exports and imports increased 11 percent compared with the corresponding period one year ago. Exports amounted to SEK 747.6 billion and imports were valued at SEK 744.1 billion, resulting in a net trade surplus of SEK 3.5 billion. The corresponding surplus figure for these period a year earlier was SEK 1.1 billion.





Friday July 28 2017
Swedish Q2 GDP Growth Strongest Since 2010
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Swedish economy advanced 1.7 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2017, beating market expectations of 1 percent and following an upwardly revised 0.6 growth in the previous period, the preliminary estimate showed. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the last quarter of 2010, mainly boosted by fixed investment and household consumption.

Gross fixed capital formation jumped 3.8 percent after rising by 2.8 percent in Q1 2017; and household consumption went up 1.1 percent, faster than a 0.6 percent gain in the previous period. Also, changes in inventories contributed 0.3 percentage points to the growth. Meanwhile, general government expenditure stalled after contracting by 0.2 percent in the previous quarter. Exports rebounded 0.7 percent, following a 0.2 percent drop in Q1; and imports also increased 0.7 percent, easing from a 0.9 percent advance in the previous period.

On the production side, market production of goods and services increased by 1.7 percent (0.7 percent in Q1). Production of goods increased by 3 percent (1.1 percent in Q1) and service-producing industries grew by 1.7 percent (1 percent in Q1). Employment measured as the total number of hours worked rose by 0.8 percent, and the number of persons employed increased by 0.6 percent.

Year-on-year, the GDP advanced 4 percent, also beating market consensus of 2.8 percent and following an upwardly revised 2.3 percent growth. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the last quarter of 2015.


Wednesday July 26 2017
Sweden Trade Surplus at 2-year High
Statistics Sweden | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Swedish trade balance turned into a SEK 4.2 billion surplus in June of 2017 compared to a SEK 0.2 billion deficit a year earlier. Yet, it is the highest trade surplus in two years, as exports jumped 10 percent while imports rose at a slower 6 percent. Considering the first half of 2017, the country's trade surplus widened to SEK 3.4 billion from a SEK 1.1 billion a year earlier. Both exports and imports jumped 11 percent.

In June, exports amounted to SEK 114 billion and imports were at SEK 109.8 billion. Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 17.2 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 13.0 billion.

The number of weekdays in June 2017 was the same as in June 2016.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade deficit narrowed to SEK 0.7 billion from SEK 1.2 billion in May. The corresponding figure for April was a SEK 1.5 billion gap.


Tuesday July 04 2017
Sweden Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
Riksbank | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Sweden left its benchmark repo rate steady at -0.5 percent on July 4th, 2017 as widely expected, saying economic activity is strong and inflation is approaching the 2 percent target. The bond-buying programme was also left unchanged. Policymakers added that the first rate increase is not expected to be made until the middle of 2018.

Excerpts from the Statement by the Executive Board of the Riksbank:

International economic activity is increasing in line with the Riksbank's forecasts. The risk of setbacks has declined, although there is still economic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world. Global inflationary pressures are still subdued and monetary policy abroad is expansionary.

The overall picture of the economic outlook and inflation prospects remains largely unchanged since April. Continued expansionary monetary policy is needed to stabilise inflation around 2 per cent. The Executive Board has therefore decided to hold the repo rate unchanged at −0.50 per cent. The first rate increase is expected to be made in the middle of 2018, which is the same assessment as in April. The purchases of government bonds will continue in the second half of 2017, as decided in April, and at the end of the year total purchases of government bonds will amount to SEK 290 billion, excluding reinvestments. Maturities and coupon payments will be reinvested until further notice.

The fact that inflation has recently been slightly higher than expected and that the risks of setbacks abroad are thought to have decreased makes it less likely than before that the Riksbank will cut the repo rate in the near term. This does not rule out repo rate cuts in the period ahead. Just as before, the Executive Board is prepared to implement further monetary policy easing if necessary to stabilise inflation and safeguard the inflation target. All of the tools that the Riksbank has described earlier can, as always, be used if necessary.

Monetary policy needs to be expansionary to safeguard the role of the inflation target as nominal anchor for price-setting and wage formation. But the low interest rates at the same time contribute to increasing the risks linked to high and rising household indebtedness. To achieve long-term sustainable development in the Swedish economy, these risks need to be managed via targeted measures within housing policy, taxation policy and macroprudential policy.


Tuesday June 27 2017
Sweden Trade Balance Swings to Surplus In May
Statistics Sweden |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden posted a SEK 2.8 billion trade surplus in May of 2017 compared with a SEK 3.6 billion gap a year ago. Year-on-year, exports rose 18 percent and imports increased at a slower 11 percent. Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 15.1 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 12.3 billion.

In May 2017, Swedish exports of goods rose 18 percent to SEK 114 billion, while imports of goods increased at a slower 11 percent to SEK 111.2 billion.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 15.1 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 12.3 billion.

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade deficit amounted to SEK 0.5 billion in May 2017, compared with a shortfall of SEK 0.7 billion in April of 2017. The corresponding figure for March 2017 was a gap of SEK 1.2 billion.

Considering the first five months of 2017, the value of exports increased by 11.5 percent compared with the corresponding period one year ago, and the value of imports rose 11.8 percent. Exports amounted to SEK 536.6 billion and imports were valued at SEK 536.7 billion, resulting in a net trade deficit of SEK 0.1 billion for January-May 2017. The corresponding surplus figure for these months a year earlier was SEK 1.3 billion.


Tuesday May 30 2017
Swedish GDP Growth Eases To 0.4% In Q1
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Swedish economy expanded 0.4 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, easing from a downwardly revised 0.7 percent growth in the previous period and missing market expectations of 0.9 percent. Fixed investment and household consumption were the main drivers of growth while government spending contracted and net trade contributed negatively.

Gross fixed capital formation jumped 2.5 percent after rising by 1 percent in Q4 2016; and household consumption went up 0.5 percent, faster than a 0.4 percent gain in the previous period. Also, changes in inventories contributed 0.1 percentage points to GDP growth. Meanwhile, general government expenditure shrank 0.2 percent after showing no growth in the previous quarter and net external demand contributed negatively, as exports fell 0.2 percent (1.5 percent in Q4) while imports rose at a faster 0.9 percent (0.2 percent in Q4).

On the production side, market production of goods and services increased by 0.8 percent (0.9 percent in Q4). Production of goods increased by 0.5 percent (0.3 percent in Q4) and service-producing industries grew by 0.9 percent (1.2 percent in Q4). Employment measured as the total number of hours worked increased by 0.6 percent, and the number of persons employed increased by 1.2 percent.

Year-on-year, the GDP advanced 2.2 percent, following a downwardly revised 2.1 percent growth but also below market consensus of 3 percent.


Monday May 29 2017
Sweden Trade Balance Swings To Deficit In April
Statistics Sweden |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden posted a SEK 2.6 billion trade deficit in April of 2017 compared with a SEK 2.5 billion surplus a year ago. Exports rose 1 percent year-on-year to SEK 100.2 billion and imports increased at a faster 6 percent to SEK 102.8 billion. Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 11.3 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 13.9 billion. It is important to mention that there were three weekdays fewer in April 2017 than in April 2016. In the period January-April, the country recorded a SEK 2 billion gap compared with a SEK 4.9 billion surplus in the same period of 2016.

In April 2017, Swedish exports of goods rose 1 percent to SEK 100.2 billion, while imports of goods advanced at a faster 6 percent to SEK 102.8 billion.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 11.3 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 13.9 billion.

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade deficit amounted to SEK 2.3 billion in April 2017, compared with a deficit of SEK 1.9 billion in March of 2017. The corresponding figure for Februay 2017 was a deficit of SEK 1.5 billion.

Considering the first four months of 2017, the value of exports increased by 10 percent compared with the corresponding period one year ago, and the value of imports rose by 12 percent. Exports amounted to SEK 423.2 billion and imports were valued at SEK 425.2 billion, resulting in a net trade deficit of SEK 2 billion for January-April 2017. The corresponding surplus figure for these months a year earlier was SEK 4.9 billion.


Thursday April 27 2017
Swedish Trade Balance Swings To Deficit In March
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swedish trade balance posted a SEK 0.8 billion deficit in March 2017 compared with a SEK 1.8 billion surplus in the same month of the previous year and missing market expectations of a SEK 2.0 billion surplus. Exports rose by 15 percent year-on-year to SEK 119.2 billion and imports increased at a faster 18 percent to SEK 120.0 billion.

In March 2017, Swedish exports of goods increased by 15 percent year-on-year to SEK 119.2 billion, while imports of goods rose at a faster 18 percent to SEK 120.0 billion. 

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 16.2 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 17.0 billion.

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade deficit amounted to SEK 1.7 billion in March 2017, compared with a deficit of SEK 1.5 billion in February 2017. The corresponding figure for January 2017 was a deficit of SEK 1.1 billion.

In the first quarter of the year, the value of exports increased by 13 percent compared with the corresponding period one year ago, while the value of imports increased by 14 percent. Exports amounted to SEK 322.6 billion and imports were valued at SEK 323.3 billion, resulting in a deficit net trade balance of SEK 0.7 billion for January–March 2017. The corresponding surplus figure for these months one year earlier was SEK 2.4 billion.