The Silf/Swedbank Swedish Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slipped to 56.7 in February from 57.9 in January, which had been expected. The business volumes sub-index rose while all other sub-indices fell.
Plans by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) to ensure telecom service providers provide continuity of service in the event of a power outage have infuriated the industry. TeliaSonera claims that back-up solutions would cost the operator hundreds of millions of kronor to put in place, while estimates suggest that Tele2 would have to invest half a billion kronor to provide such resilience.
Employer organisation the Swedish IT and Telecom Industries estimates the industry would need to invest two billion kronor in order to meet the criteria.
Late Tuesday evening, the airline Norwegian said it was cancelling all domestic flights in Sweden, Norway and Denmark because of the pilot strike. More than 35,000 passengers will be affected.
The airline has also cancelled all flights between the Scandinavian capitals. Some flights to European destinations may also be affected. Long-haul flights to the US and Thailand will operate as normal.
Norwegian has said it will lay off 800 flight attendants as of today, Wednesday.
The Swedish economy will grow at a faster pace than many have forecast, says the multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, predicting “solid” economic growth of 2.9% this year and 3.6% in 2016. Falling oil prices and the sharp depreciation in the krona favour an industrialised, exporting country such as Sweden, argues the firm.
Ulf Kristersson, the Moderates’ spokesman on economic policy, is against the government’s plans to remove the budget surplus target of 1% over a business cycle, saying such a move would impair Sweden’s ability to pursue an active fiscal policy during a financial crisis. He also warns that a deficit could build up very quickly, if the target is abolished.
Swedish economists have welcomed the centre-left government’s plans to remove the country’s budget surplus target and replace it with a balanced budget target to free up money for important investments in education, infrastructure and the like. However, SEB chief economist Robert Bergvist warns that greater financial discipline will need to be imposed during such a transition, otherwise there is an overhanging risk of an operating deficit.
Some two hundred people gathered on Raoul Wallenberg square in Stockholm on Saturday to demonstrate against violence and hatred after the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who had been invited to speak at the demonstration, said Sweden must never accept that hatred be allowed to take over people’s lives.
Since the two terror attacks the Swedish Security Service and the police have been in closer contact with Jewish communities in Sweden, and Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman has also pledged more funding to raise security around Jewish buildings and institutions.
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