Swedish Inflation Tops Estimates as Tightening Speculation Grows

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Swedish inflation again topped estimates in August, adding to speculation the central bank will move forward an end to some of its unprecedented stimulus.

Underlying consumer prices rose an annual 2.3 percent in August, compared with 2.4 percent in July, Statistics Sweden said Tuesday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg and the Riksbank had estimated a rate of 2.2 percent. The krona gained 0.4 percent to 9.5402 per euro.

The Riksbank last week kept its rate at minus 0.5 percent and repeated its intention to wait until the middle of 2018 before raising rates. Policy makers were expected to signal a somewhat bigger chance they’d remove stimulus earlier as the Swedish economy outpaces most of the rest of western Europe.

The inflation report gives an “even stronger foundation for the Riksbank to move toward a less expansionary policy,” said Johan Lof, an economist at Svenska Handelsbanken, in a note. “This was welcome news for the Riksbank. Yet again underlying inflation looks robust and therefore today’s outcome should be viewed as the next piece of the puzzle on the path toward a change in policy stance.”

Underlying consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in the month.

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