Swedish Consumer Prices Decrease for Second Consecutive Month

Swedish consumer prices dropped for a second consecutive month in December as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis hurt exports and companies cut jobs.

Consumer prices fell an annual 0.1 percent in December, matching a decline in November, Statistics Sweden said today. The median forecast of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.2 percent drop.

The Riksbank, which targets 2 percent inflation, on Dec. 18 revised its forecasts and said it predicts consumer price growth of 0.3 percent this year and 2.3 percent in 2014. The bank last month cut its benchmark rate for a fourth time in 12 months, to 1 percent, to protect the economy.

Sweden’s government on Dec. 21 lowered its economic outlook for this year and next, projecting 1.1 percent growth in gross domestic product in 2013, versus an earlier estimate for a 2.7 percent expansion.

Swedish consumer prices rose 0.3 percent on the month in December, Statistics Sweden said. Adjusted for mortgage costs, inflation was an annual 1 percent, while prices increased a monthly 0.3 percent.

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