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Riksbank Should Keep ’Cool Head’ in Crisis, Wickman-Parak Says

Sweden’s economy is strong and the Riksbank should keep a cool head even as the European debt crisis rages on, Deputy Governor Barbro Wickman-Parak said.

The economy “is rather strong, and primarily domestic demand has been resistant and one can also say that service exports are also increasing quite well,” Wickman-Parak told reporters today after a speech in Stockholm. “It’s quite good to keep a cool head even when uncertain winds blow,” she said.

Sweden’s central bank last month kept its key interest rate unchanged at 1.5 percent and predicted no cuts in the next year. The economy grew more than expected last quarter and consumer confidence unexpectedly improved for a third month in May.

Gross domestic product expanded an annual 1.5 percent in first three months of the year and a quarterly 0.8 percent after contracting for the first time since 2009 the previous quarter, Stockholm-based Statistics Sweden said yesterday.

Swedish employment has developed better than the central bank predicted last month, while exports of goods and industrial production have disappointed, Wickman-Parak said.

“We can’t include catastrophic scenarios, or near-catastrophic scenarios, in our forecasts,” she said. “But we can be clear about being prepared should that be the case.”

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