Swedish Industry Sees Falling Investment as Exports Struggle

Sweden’s industry will reduce investments by 10 percent this year as the European sovereign-debt crisis curbs demand for products from the export-reliant Nordic economy, Statistics Sweden said.

Industry in the $500 billion economy plans to reduce spending to 53.7 billion kronor ($8.12 billion) from 56.9 billion kronor last year, according to a survey of about 8,000 companies published today. The Stockholm-based statistics office uses the survey to estimate investment volume as the actual numbers differ from company forecasts in a “somewhat systematic way,” it said in a statement.

“Volume changes vary among the industrial sectors, but a decrease can be discerned in a majority of them,” Statistics Sweden said on its website. “The most investment intensive industry, the mining industry, will decrease its volumes by 10 percent.”

Swedish economic growth slowed to 0.8 percent last year from 3.7 percent in 2011 because of falling demand for exports, which account for about half of Swedish output. About 70 percent of its sales abroad go to Europe where countries are cutting spending to reduce debt.

“The weak developments on several of Sweden’s most important export markets will continue to hold back growth in exports in the coming period,” the Swedish central bank said last month as it postponed plans for an interest rate increase by about a year to late 2014.

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