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.




Thursday April 27 2017
Sweden Keeps Key Rate At -0.5%, Extends Bond Buying
Riksbank | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Sweden left the benchmark repo rate at -0.5 percent on April 27th, 2017 as widely expected and extended the purchases of government bonds by SEK 15 billion during the second half of 2017. Policymakers said economic activity in Sweden is increasingly strong, but assess that it will take longer before inflation stabilizes around 2 percent. The repo rate is now not expected to be raised until mid-2018, which is slightly later than in the previous forecast.

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

Growth around the world is increasing in line with the Riksbank's earlier forecasts. The global economy is in a phase with increasingly strong industrial activity and rising global trade. However, considerable political uncertainty is prevailing in several parts of the world, creating risks for economic developments.

Swedish economic activity is good and is expected to strengthen further over the next few years. Inflation has shown a rising trend for some years, but it is now expected to take longer before it stabilises around 2 per cent. The collective agreements signed so far on the labour market indicate that cost pressures in the economy will rise more slowly than expected. The inflation forecast is somewhat lower for 2018 and 2019.

The Executive Board has decided to hold the repo rate unchanged at −0.50 per cent and to extend the purchases of nominal government bonds by SEK 7.5 billion and the purchases of real government bonds by SEK 7.5 billion. At the end of 2017, the purchases will thus amount to a total of SEK 290 billion, excluding reinvestments. Until further notice, maturities and coupon payments will also be reinvested in the government bond portfolio. The Executive Board moreover assesses that the repo rate needs to be held at the current low level for a quarter longer than was assumed in February. The first repo-rate increase is now expected to be made in the middle of 2018. The repo rate path also reflects the fact that there is still a greater probability of the rate being cut than of it being raised in the near term.

The Executive Board is still prepared to make monetary policy more expansionary if the upward trend in inflation were to be threatened and confidence in the inflation target weakened. All of the tools that the Riksbank has described earlier can as always be used if necessary.




Tuesday March 28 2017
Sweden Trade Account In Balance In February
Statistics Sweden | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Swedish trade balance was recorded at SEK 0.0 billion in February of 2017 compared to a SEK 0.2 bilion deficit in the same month of the previous year, as both exports and imports rose 7 percent.

In February, both exports and imports of goods amounted to SEK 101.6 billion.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 13.4 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 13.4 billion. 

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade amounted to SEK 1.0 billion in February of 2017, compared with a deficit of SEK 0.9 billion in January of 2017. The corresponding figure for December 2016 was SEK 0.6 billion.

During December 2016-February 2017, the value of exports has increased 12 percent compared with the corresponding period a year ago, while the value of imports has increased 14 percent. Exports amounted to SEK 313.9 billion and imports were valued at SEK 314.5 billion, resulting in a deficit net trade balance of 0.6 billion for that period. For the corresponding month a year earlier it was recorded a surplus of SEK 4.6 billion.


Tuesday February 28 2017
Swedish Trade Surplus Widens In January
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swedish trade surplus widened to SEK 1.5 billion in January 2017 from SEK 0.8 billion in the same month of the previous year, as exports rose by 19 percent to SEK 103.4 billion and imports increased at a slower 18 percent to SEK 101.9 billion.

In January 2017 Swedish exports of goods amounted to SEK 103.4 billion, while imports of goods amounted to SEK 101.9 billion. As a result, the net trade balance was SEK 1.5 billion. In January 2016, there was a net trade surplus of SEK 0.8 billion.

The value of exports in January 2017 amounted to SEK 103.4 billion, while imports were valued at SEK 101.9 billion. Compared with January 2016, exports increased by 19 percent in value, while imports increased by 18 percent in value.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 9.4 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 7.9 billion.

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade deficit amounted to SEK 0.8 billion in January 2017, compared with a deficit of SEK 0.4 billion in December 2016. The corresponding figure for November 2016 was SEK 0.0 billion.

During November 2016-January 2017, the value of exports and the value of imports have both increased by 14 percent compared with the corresponding period one year ago. Exports amounted to SEK 326.0 billion and imports were valued at SEK 326.6 billion, resulting in a deficit net trade balance of SEK 0.6 billion for that period. The corresponding deficit figure for these months one year earlier was SEK 0.4 billion.


Tuesday February 28 2017
Sweden GDP Growth Beats Expectations In Q4
Statistics Sweden | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Swedish economy expanded 1 percent on quarter in the last three months of 2016, following a downwardly revised 0.3 percent rise in the previous period and beating expectations of 0.9 percent. It is the highest growth rate in a year, boosted by rising investment and exports and a rebound in government spending.

Household spending slowed (0.3 percent compared to 0.5 percent in Q3) while government expenditure rebounded (0.3 percent compared to -0.1 percent in Q3) and gross fixed capital formation rose faster (0.9 percent compared to 0.1 percent in Q3). In addition, exports jumped 1.8 percent (1.2 percent in Q3) while imports contracted 0.2 percent (+0.3 percent in Q3). 

On the production side, market production of goods and services increased by 1.1 percent: production of goods increased by 0.4 percent and services grew by 1.4 percent. Employment measured as the total number of hours worked increased by 0.3 percent and the number of persons employed increased by 0.6 percent.

On a yearly basis, the GDP expanded 2.3 percent, slightly below a downwardly revised 2.4 percent growth in the previous period and market expectations of 2.4 percent. Considering full 2016, the economy grew 3.3 percent.




Wednesday February 15 2017
Sweden Holds Repo Rate at -0.5%
Riksbank | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden's central bank held its benchmark repo rate at -0.5 percent on February 15th, 2017, as widely expected, saying a continued strong level of economic activity and a krona that does not appreciate too rapidly are required for inflation to stabilise around the 2 percent target. Policymakers added that there is still a greater probability that the rate will be cut than that it will be raised in the near term and that purchases of government bonds will continue for the first six months of 2017, as was decided in December.

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

The economic outlook abroad is brighter in the near term, and the recovery is continuing in line with earlier forecasts. At the same time, there is considerable political uncertainty in several areas of the world, which means that the risks of setbacks have increased.

In Sweden, the Riksbank's expansionary monetary policy has contributed to high growth, falling unemployment, rising inflation and inflation expectations that are back at 2 per cent. CPIF inflation was close to 2 per cent in December, but the recent upturn has been primarily driven by a temporary rise in energy prices. Excluding energy prices, inflation is still low. The strong economic activity creates good conditions for inflation to continue rising. However, inflation is not expected to stabilise around 2 per cent until the end of 2018.

The krona exchange rate continues to create uncertainty about the development in inflation. Since December, the krona has been clearly stronger than expected. This rapid appreciation is not expected to continue, however. The Riksbank's forecast is for the krona to appreciate slowly as economic activity improves.

To ensure inflation stabilises around the target, it is necessary for economic activity to remain strong and for the krona to appreciate at a not too rapid pace. The political uncertainty abroad is enhancing the need for monetary policy to remain expansionary. The Executive Board has decided to hold the repo rate unchanged at -0.50 per cent. The repo rate path reflects the fact that there is still a greater probability that the rate will be cut than that it will be raised in the near term, and that slow increases will not begin until the start of 2018. Purchases of government bonds will continue for the first six months of 2017, as decided in December 2016. Until further notice, maturities and coupon payments will be reinvested in the government bond portfolio. The Executive Board has also taken a decision to extend the mandate that facilitates a quick intervention on the foreign exchange market.

The Executive Board is still prepared to make monetary policy more expansionary if the upward trend in inflation were to be threatened and confidence in the inflation target weakened. All of the tools that the Riksbank has described earlier, most recently in the September 2016 Monetary Policy Report, 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 rate levels also entail risks, such as those linked to the high and increasing household indebtedness. To achieve long-term sustainable development in the Swedish economy, these risks need to be managed via targeted measures within housing policy, fiscal policy and macroprudential policy.


Thursday January 26 2017
Swedish Trade Surplus Narrows In December
Statistics Sweden | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swedish trade surplus fell sharply to SEK 1.0 billion in December 2016 from SEK 4.0 billion in the same month of the previous year, as exports rose by 11 percent while imports increased at a faster 15 percent. For the whole year of 2016, Sweden posted a trade deficit of SEK 6.8 billion compared with a surplus of SEK 13.8 billion in 2015.

The value of exports in December 2016 amounted to SEK 109.3 billion, while imports were valued at SEK 108.3 billion. Compared with December 2015, exports increased by 11 percent in value while imports increased by 15 percent in value.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 15.0 billion, while EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK 14.0 billion.

There was one weekday more in December 2016 than in December 2015.

Seasonally adjusted, the net trade surplus amounted to SEK 0.2 billion in December 2016, compared with a surplus of SEK 0.5 billion in November 2016. The corresponding figure for October 2016 was a surplus of SEK 0.4 billion.

Considering the whole year of 2016, the value of exports has increased by 1 percent compared with 2015, while the value of imports increased by 3 percent. Exports amounted to SEK 1193.7 billion and imports were valued at SEK 1200.5 billion, resulting in a deficit net trade balance of 6.8 billion for 2016. It was the first trade gap since 1982 and the biggest deficit since 1980. The corresponding surplus figure in 2015 was SEK 13.8 billion.


Thursday December 29 2016
Sweden Trade Gap Narrows 78.9% YoY In November
Statistics Sweden | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The trade deficit in Sweden declined to SEK 1.1 billion in November of 2016 from a SEK 5.2 billion gap a year earlier. It is the smallest shortfall for a November month in two years as exports rose the most since June of 2015 and imports rebounded.

Exports jumped 13 percent year-on-year to SEK 113.4 billion after being flat in the previous month. It is the biggest increase since June of 2015. Imports rose 8.5 percent to SEK 114.5 billion, following a 1 percent fall in the previous period. It is the biggest gain in a year.

Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK 14.9 billion, while EU trade showed a SEK 16.0 billion gap.

Seasonally adjusted, the trade surplus amounted to SEK 0.4 billion in November 2016, compared with a surplus of SEK 0.3 billion in October 2016.

Considering the first eleven months of the year, exports were flat at SEK 1084.6 billion while imports rose 2 percent year/on/year to SEK 1092 billion, resulting in a deficit of SEK 7.4 billion. The corresponding surplus figure for these months one year earlier was a gap of SEK 9.8 billion.


Wednesday December 21 2016
Sweden Holds Repo Rate At -0.5%, Extends QE
Riksbank | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden's central bank held its benchmark repo rate at -0.5 percent on December 21st, 2016, as widely expected, and expanded its programme of asset purchases by SEK 30 billion during the first six months of 2017, saying monetary policy needs to remain very expansionary for inflation to rise towards the 2 percent target. Policymakers added that there is a greater probability that the rate will be cut than that it will be raised in the near term and that increases in the repo rate are not expected to start until the beginning of 2018.

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

The Riksbank's expansionary monetary policy has had a broad impact and pushed down interest rates in the Swedish economy. Monetary policy has thus contributed to the positive development in the Swedish economy in recent years, with high growth, falling unemployment and rising inflation. Long-term inflation expectations are also close to 2 per cent. The increasingly strong economic activity means there are good conditions for inflation to continue rising.

But there are still risks that can jeopardise the upturn in inflation. Inflation has been lower than expected in recent months, and it is still uncertain how quickly it will rise going forward. It is difficult to know, for instance, how the krona exchange rate will develop in an environment where the ECB has extended its asset purchase programme and the Federal Reserve has raised its policy rate. The Riksbank assesses that the krona will strengthen slowly in the period ahead. An overly rapid appreciation of the krona could dampen import prices and the demand for Swedish exports and make it more difficult to bring up inflation.

Monetary policy needs to remain very expansionary for inflation to rise towards 2 per cent. The Executive Board of the Riksbank has decided to hold the repo rate at −0.50 per cent and there is still a greater probability that the rate will be cut than that it will be raised in the near term. Increases in the repo rate are not expected to begin until the beginning of 2018. To further support inflation, the Executive Board has also decided to extend the purchases of government bonds by SEK 30 billion during the first half of 2017. The purchases include both nominal and real government bonds, corresponding to SEK 15 and SEK 15 billion, respectively. Until further notice, maturities and coupon payments on the government bond portfolio will be reinvested, during 2017 to a value of around SEK 30 billion. There will be a large maturity in August, but reinvestments will begin at the beginning of 2017 and are planned to continue throughout the year. In the middle of 2017, the Riksbank's purchases will amount to SEK 275 billion, excluding reinvestments.

The Executive Board still has a high level of preparedness to make monetary policy more expansionary if the upward trend in inflation were to be threatened and confidence in the inflation target weakened. 


Tuesday November 29 2016
Swedish Economy Expands 0.5% In Q3
Statistics Sweden | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Sweden's gross domestic product advanced 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016, following an upwardly revised 0.6 percent expansion in the second quarter and in a line with market expectations, according to preliminary estimates. Household consumption rebounded and net external demand contributed positively while fixed investment and government expenditure were unchanged. On a yearly basis, the economy advanced 2.8 percent, easing from an upwardly revised 3.6 percent growth in the previous period and below market expectations of 3 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, household consumption expanded 0.4 percent (-0.1 percent in Q2); while fixed investment remained unchanged (+1.9 percent in Q2); and general government expenditure also showed no growth (+1.2 percent in Q2). 

Net external demand contributed positively, as exports rose 1.3 percent (-0.4 percent in Q2) while imports grew 0.6 percent (+0.6 percent in Q2).

On the production side, service-producing industries increased by 0.7 percent (+1.4 percent in Q2) and production of goods rose by 0.2 percent (-1.1 percent in Q2). 

Employment measured as the total number of hours worked decreased by 0.1 percent and the number of persons employed fell by 0.3 percent.