Sweden: Economic rebound slows according to advanced Q4 data
The economy expanded 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, in quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted terms, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Sweden. The result was well below the 4.9% rise recorded in Q3 and came in slightly below market expectations. In calendar-adjusted annual terms, the economy shrank 2.6%, softening from the 2.7% drop recorded in Q3.
The quarterly slowdown came amid rising infection rates both domestically and in key trading partners, likely weighing heavily on services activity in the quarter. Nevertheless, Q4’s estimate puts the overall contraction for 2020 at 2.8%, which compares very favorably with most major European economies.
A more comprehensive breakdown of Q4 GDP will be released on 26 February.
Torbjörn Isaksson, chief analyst at Nordea, is optimistic regarding the outlook, commenting:
“Near term, the recovery will slow due to the rising infection rates and the tighter restrictions in Sweden and abroad. But the slowdown in Sweden is expected to be mild. It will not lead to any persisting economic problems and thus not impede the future recovery. The situation is uncertain, and further restrictions affecting growth cannot be ruled out near term.”