Anna Bremen, chief economist at Swedbank, has said that growth in the Swedish economy remains healthy, but for it to remain so the labour market must continue to display strong growth. She expects the economy to slow more clearly in 2017 and 2018.
Both she and SBAB chief economist Tor Borg point out that low interest rates and rising property prices have fuelled consumption and investment. Many consumers have money to spend, which has resulted in a boom for Sweden’s restaurant business; sales in the industry rose 5.1 per cent in June. Dark clouds are looming on the horizon, however.
“Uncertainty lies ahead in that there is a general concern in the outside world that may spread,” says Anna Bremen, naming Brexit, the US presidential election, the military coup in Turkey and this summer’s terror attacks in Europe, all of which can curb investment and consumption.
The Swedish Air Force’s ageing fleet of six Hercules aircraft desperately needs an upgrade; otherwise the planes will be grounded.
However, the government has yet to make a decision. In the meantime, the Air Force is looking at new aircraft. “We need a plane for tactical transport. For example, we need to be able to move troops, defence equipment and be able to strengthen capabilities (ed.) on Gotland quickly. Since we need the new planes by around 2024, a decision needs to be made soon,” says Mats Helgesson, the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff.
One of the most interesting alternatives comes from Embraer, Saab’s Brazilian partner.
In a series of articles SvD has reported on postal operator PostNord’s falling revenues and inferior quality. Many readers have since contacted the paper expressing their annoyance over the operator’s poor service; one reader has told of how the operator failed to deliver an invoice from the Transport Administration in time and how he had to pay a fine of 500 kronor as a result, while others testify to the way in which letters are delivered to the wrong address, or fail to be delivered at all, and of PostNord’s indifference when they complain.
Sweden’s Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) has used up its SKr 1.4 billion budget for the establishment of new arrivals and will have to live on credit for the rest of the year.
“We have a credit facility of SKr 100 million, which we have already started to use, and we have already estimated that the entire facility will be used. It’s going to be a tough autumn, and it’s going to be tough to meet our remit,” Fredrik Modigh, the agency’s chief economist, has said.
Although the situation in Turkey remains tense, Swedish companies continue to carry out business in the country.
“The perception we have is that Swedish companies still consider there to be good potential on the Turkish market,” says Erik Friberg, Business Sweden’s trade secretary in Turkey. His comment is based on a survey Business Sweden is carrying out, asking 100 Swedish companies active in Turkey about their perception of the business climate there. The study is still underway but over half of the companies have answered Business Sweden’s questions.
Cash handling firm Loomis, which operates in Turkey, experienced concern after the attempted coup but CEO, Patrik Andersson, says, “As we are responsible for many cash machines, we in fact had greater demand during those days.”