Swedish consumer confidence improved more than estimated in March as stock markets rose and the economy showed signs of stabilizing.
The consumer confidence index rose to 2.8 from minus 1 the previous month, the Stockholm-based National Institute of Economic Research said today. Economists predicted confidence would improve to 1, according to the median of 10 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. A manufacturing confidence index improved to minus 10 from minus 11. It was estimated to gain to minus 8.
“The improvement was due to an increasingly positive view of the Swedish economy,” the NIER said.
Sweden’s central bank last month forecast it won’t have to cut its main lending rate further, citing signs of an improving economy as financial markets stabilized following the European Central Bank’s pledge to buy bonds of debt-stricken countries.
The Riksbank left its main lending rate unchanged at 1 percent last month following four cuts in a year to boost growth in the export-dependent economy. The benchmark OMX index has gained 8.6 percent this year.
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