Sweden: Consumer prices increase moderately
April 14, 2015
In March, consumer prices increased 0.1% over the previous month. The reading was below the 0.7% increase recorded in February. The result was just below market expectations of a 0.2% increase. According to Statistics Sweden (SCB), March’s print mainly reflects that much higher prices for clothing and footwear were offset by lower prices in several categories, including recreation and culture, as well as post and telecommunications.
Consumer prices rose 0.2% in March over the same month of last year, which was just above the 0.1% increase tallied in February. March’s print marked the second consecutive price increase after six consecutive annual declines, allaying some of the concern that the economy was stuck in a deflationary spiral. However, the moderate result in March suggests that the Central Bank may have to intervene further to stoke inflation. Annual average variation in consumer prices ticked up to minus 0.1% in March after having held at minus 0.2% in the previous four months.
Meanwhile, annual core inflation—defined as the CPI with mortgage rates held constant—increased 0.9% in March for the second straight month.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist