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Swedish Confidence Falls for Third Month Amid Job Losses

Swedish consumer confidence fell for a third month in October as companies cut jobs to cope with stalling demand from Europe.

The consumer confidence index fell to minus 2.9, the lowest since February, from 2 the previous month, the Stockholm-based National Institute of Economic Research said today. Economists predicted a reading of 1.7, according to the median of eight forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. A manufacturing confidence index fell to minus 16 from a revised minus 11. It was estimated at minus 12.

Companies including truckmaker Volvo AB and phone company TeliaSonera AB have all said they will cut jobs amid weakening demand from Europe, where countries are cutting spending to reduce debt. Unemployment rose for a second month to 7.4 percent in September.

The krona declined 0.3 percent to 8.6574 per euro as of 9:50 a.m. in Stockholm.

Sweden, which relies on sales abroad for about half of its output, sends 70 percent of its exports to Europe.

Sweden’s central bank last month cut its main lending rate for a third time since December, citing rising unemployment and weakening economic growth, which it predicts will slow to 1.5 percent this year from 3.9 percent in 2011.

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