Riksbank closer to ‘Nirvana’ as inflation picks up


Swedish inflation accelerated more than expected last month, easing pressure on the central bank to add to its record stimulus measures.
Consumer prices rose an annual 0.8 percent in January, Statistics Sweden said in a statement Thursday. Adjusted for mortgage costs, prices rose an annual 1.6 percent. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had predicted headline inflation of 0.5 percent and underlying inflation of 1.3 percent. The central bank expected annual inflation of 0.6 percent and underlying prices to rise 1.5 percent. “It was a bit higher than we had predicted so that’s in a way good news but on the other hand we know that there are quite a few temporary effects that are pushing inflation higher in January,” Riksbank Deputy Governor Per Jansson said to reporters after a speech in Oerebro. “So nothing is settled right now, but what’s important is that the trend continues.”
The Riksbank lowered its repo rate to minus 0.5 percent last week amid global turmoil and expectations of more stimulus from other central banks. The bank has made it clear that it remains prepared to cut rates further, expand its bond buying program or intervene in the currency market.

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