Swedish Manufacturing Contracts for Fourth Month Amid Job Losses

Sweden’s manufacturing contracted for a fourth consecutive month in November as the euro area’s debt crisis hurts demand for the Nordic country’s exports.

An index based on responses from about 200 purchasing managers was a seasonally adjusted 43.2 in November, compared with 43.1 the previous month, Stockholm-based Swedbank AB (SWEDA), which compiles the index, said today. A reading below 50 signals a contraction. The median estimate of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a reading of 44.

Sweden’s central bank has signaled it may cut interest rates again next month, after three reductions since last year, as a recession in the euro area hurts exporters in the largest Nordic economy. Companies such as Ericsson AB, the world’s biggest maker of wireless networks, and truckmaker Volvo AB are cutting jobs to cope with the reduced demand. About 70 percent of Swedish exports go to Europe.

The survey’s production sub-index rose to 43.3 from 40.3 and the order index rose to 40.3 from 40.1. The employment index fell to 39 from 43 while the delivery time index rose to 44.7 from 40.4.

Swedish growth will slow to 1.2 percent this year from 3.9 percent in 2011, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last week. The country’s annual expansion slowed to 0.7 percent in the third quarter from 1.3 percent in the prior period, Statistics Sweden also said last week.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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