Bloomberg News

Swedish Retail Sales Fall for Third Month as Recovery Slows

October 28, 2011

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Swedish retail sales unexpectedly fell for a third month in September, adding to signs the Nordic country’s recovery continued to slow in the third quarter.

Sales fell a monthly 0.2 percent after dropping 0.3 percent the previous month, Stockholm-based Statistics Sweden said today. The median estimate of ten economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.3 percent rise. Sales fell an annual 0.6 percent, after growing 0.3 percent the previous month.

“Shrinkage of household wealth, due to negative developments on the stock market and to some extent on house prices, has taken its toll on the household sector,” said Anna Raman, a senior economist at Nykredit Bank A/S in Copenhagen, in a note. The figures suggest “household consumption weakened sharply in the third quarter compared to the decent 3.2 percent seen in the second quarter.”

Swedish consumer confidence fell this month to the lowest since June 2009 according to a survey released today by the National Institute of Economic Research. The central bank yesterday said it left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 2 percent for a second consecutive meeting, predicting hurdles resolving the European debt crisis will cut growth and consumer price rises. Exports make up about half of Swedish output.

The government in September slashed growth forecasts and predicted rising unemployment next year after annual growth slowed for a second consecutive quarter. The economy will grow 1.3 percent next year, versus an earlier forecast for 3.8 percent, the finance ministry said last month.

--Editors: Tasneem Brogger, Jonas Bergman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Johan Carlstrom in Stockholm at jcarlstrom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net


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