Sweden: Lower exports drive down GDP
February 29, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP contracted 1.1% in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms over the previous quarter, representing the first contraction seen since the first quarter of 2009. The figure overshot market expectations that had GDP contracting 0.8%. The decline was mainly due to the external sector's lower contribution to growth, as exports swung from a 2.9% expansion in the third quarter to a 3.9% contraction in the fourth quarter. Imports, meanwhile, moderated to a 0.2% decline (Q3 2011: +0.1% quarter-on-quarter). In contrast, on the domestic side, private consumption stepped up to a 0.4% expansion, contrasting the 1.0% contraction seen in the third quarter. Moreover, government spending rose 0.1% (Q3 2011: +0.2% qoq) and gross fixed capital formation grew 0.8%, up from the 0.7% contraction seen in the third quarter. In the full year 2011, the economy grew 3.9%, down from 2010's 6.1% expansion.