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Swedish Industrial Output Grows More Than Economists Estimated

Swedish industrial production grew more than estimated in December, easing pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates this year as the largest Nordic economy defies the recession threat in the Euro-area.

Industrial production rose an annual 2 percent in December, after increasing a revised 0.6 percent the prior month, Stockholm-based Statistics Sweden said today. That beat the 0.4 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 11 economists. Output was unchanged from a month earlier. Economists had predicted a 1 percent decline.

Sweden’s central bank in December lowered its benchmark lending rate for the first time since 2009 to 1.75 percent and predicted it will keep rates unchanged over the next year. It will announce its next decision on Feb. 16. Industrial orders rose a monthly 8.6 percent and fell an annual 0.6 percent in December, the office said.

Sweden’s economic growth will slow to 1.3 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2011 after expanding the most in the European Union in 2010, the central bank estimated on Dec. 20.

The krona eased 0.2 percent against the euro to 8.8207 as of 10:21 a.m. local time. It lost 0.2 percent versus the dollar to 6.6432.

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