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Sweden grew faster than expected during Q3

Staff writer |
The Swedish economy grew at a faster pace than expected during the third quarter, figures showed.

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Sweden's GDP had grown 3.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2014, the government agency Statistics Sweden reported.

"The figures are strong from a historical perspective. The average growth in Sweden during the past 20 years has been about 2.5 percent," Nordea bank chief economist Annika Winsth told the news agency TT.

The 0.8-percent quarter-on-quarter growth figure was twice as high as analysts polled by the financial news wire Direkt had expected.

Statistics Sweden cited a quarter-on-quarter uptick in household consumption and said consumers alone tacked on 0.3 percent to the country's GDP measured against this year's second quarter. Imports and exports both rose 2.1 percent compared to the second quarter.

Given an expected expansion of the European Central Bank's stimulus program, Sweden's Riksbank is under pressure to lower its already negative key interest rate in December, news agency TT reported.

"But today's figures suggest the Riksbank will not act (to lower its interest rate)," said Winsth, who expects public spending on refugee admissions to boost Sweden's GDP further in the coming months.