Swedish Confidence Measures Unexpectedly Fall on Slow Recovery

Sweden’s confidence measures unexpectedly fell this month as the largest Nordic economy struggles to gain moment amid slack demand from abroad.

The consumer confidence index fell to 98 from 98.8 the prior month, the Stockholm-based National Institute of Economic Research said today. The index was seen rising to 100.2 in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts. A manufacturing confidence index fell to 94.2 from 100.7, missing the estimate of 100.6.

“The decrease was due to a more pessimistic view of personal finances, with the Micro Index falling more than 3 points,” the NIER said. “Consumers are more upbeat about the Swedish economy, however, with the Macro Index gaining almost 2 points.”

Sweden’s central bank this month said it will keep interest rates unchanged at 1 percent for another year to support a recovery as demand from abroad picks up. The Nordic country’s four-party coalition government last week said it will cut income taxes for a fifth time since coming to power in 2006.

Sweden’s $540 billion economy contracted 0.2 percent last quarter, according to figures from Statistics Sweden published this month. Unemployment will rise to 8.2 percent this year from 8 percent in 2012 and decline to 8.1 percent next year, the government predicted.

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