Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Swedish retail sales fell for a second consecutive month in August, adding to pressure on the central bank to abandon signaled interest rate increases as the largest Nordic economic slows.
Sales fell a monthly 0.3 percent after dropping a revised 0.8 percent the previous month, Stockholm-based Statistics Sweden said today. The median estimate of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for no change. Sales rose an annual 0.2 percent, after growing 1.1 percent the previous month.
Swedish consumer confidence fell this month to the lowest since June 2009 as a deepening European debt crisis sapped optimism in the export-dependent Nordic economy. The government last month slashed growth forecasts and predicted rising unemployment in 2012.
Slowing growth prompted the central bank this month to leave its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 2 percent after seven increases since July 2010. While the bank cut its forecast for its rate path, it also signaled it may raise next quarter to keep inflation in check. The bank forecasts the benchmark rate averaging 2.1 percent next quarter.
The krona gained 0.2 percent to 9.2093 per euro as of 11:07 a.m. in Stockholm. Against the dollar, it gained 0.9 percent.
--Editors: Jonas Bergman, Tasneem Brogger
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