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EU Initiates Review for Sweden, Denmark on Debt Imbalances

Sweden and Denmark will be reviewed under the European Union’s new rules on economic governance, the European Commission said.

The macroeconomic situation in the two Nordic countries “needs to be investigate further,” the EU’s executive arm said today, also starting reviews of 10 other countries in the 27-nation bloc, including Finland.

Sweden, the largest Nordic economy, is under review for “increasing household indebtedness,” while “the stock of private sector debt remains very high” in Denmark, the commission said.

The commission, the EU’s Brussels-based executive arm, singled out the EU economies in need of review in its first annual Alert Mechanism Report, released today. The report measured countries based on 10 macroeconomic indicators, including debt and asset bubbles.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, presenting the report in Strasbourg, France, said the debt crisis shows that macroeconomic imbalances pose “serious risks.” The other economies that need to be investigated are Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K., according to the statement.

The group also singled out Sweden for having a current account surplus, “above the indicative threshold,” according to the report. Denmark faces deteriorating price competitiveness “due to high nominal wage agreements in a period of overheating and weak productivity growth,” the commission said.

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