Sweden: Economy expands in Q1 according to advanced data
The economy expanded 1.1% in the first quarter of 2021 in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Sweden. The result was above the 0.5% rise clocked in Q4 2020 and came in comfortably above market expectations. In calendar-adjusted annual terms, GDP matched the print from the corresponding quarter in 2020, marking an improvement from the 2.1% year-on-year drop recorded in Q4 and a rapid return to pre-pandemic output levels.
The quarterly acceleration came on the back of improving household consumption, positive business and consumer sentiment and strengthening demand dynamics, both domestically and externally. Nevertheless, still-elevated daily Covid-19 cases are a cause for concern, although a brisk vaccination campaign bodes well for activity in the coming quarters.
A more comprehensive breakdown of Q1 GDP will be released on 28 May.
Maria Wallin Fredholm, economist at Swedbank, is optimistic regarding the outlook, commenting:
“We expect better momentum in the economy by summer, and that activity continues to pick up in the coming quarters. Vaccinations have now gotten going, and restrictions can hopefully gradually be eased when the pressure on the healthcare system subsides.”