Friday, November 28, 2014
Sweden Economy Shows Unexpected Growth
Via The Local: Sweden's economy expanded slightly more than expected in the third quarter of the year, according to statistics published on Friday. Statistics Sweden, the country's government-funded facts and figures agency, reported that GDP grew by 2.1 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. This was an 0.3 percent increase on the second quarter and slightly more than the 0.2 percent rise that analysts expected. The chief economist at Swedish bank Handelsbanken told news agency TT that domestic consumption was driving economic growth. Jan Häggström said that "residential investment" and rising property prices were also having an impact. Rival bank Nordea's leading economist Annika Winsth said that "stronger retail sales than expected" were the most crucial reason for the growth. "We have weak exports and mediocre investments, except in construction", she said in an interview with Swedish television network SVT, adding that "consumption is the engine of the economy". Retail sales rose 4.5 percent in October compared with the same month last year, according to Statistics Sweden, also a larger increase than analysts had expected.