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Swedish inflation blamed on Beyoncé concert | Business and economic news

Analysts say Beyoncé’s visit to Stockholm may explain unexpected price increases for some goods and services in May.

Sweden’s inflation rate fell below 10% in May, official statistics showed on Wednesday, but the cost of some goods and services rose unexpectedly, with some analysts saying superstar Beyoncé had tipped the scales.

Consumer prices rose 9.7% year-on-year in May, down from 10.5% in April and the first time inflation has been below 10% in more than six months.

“Continued declines in electricity and food prices led to lower inflation in May,” Statistics Sweden statistician Mikael Nordin said in a statement.

At the same time, the cost of certain goods and services rose, “such as hotel and restaurant visits, entertainment services and clothing,” the agency said.

Beyonce was smiling and won a Grammy for the renaissance Dest Dance/Electronic Music Album.She is wearing a beige silk evening gown with loose waves in her hair
Beyonce Wins Best Dance/Electronic Album for Renaissance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards [File: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy/AFP]

“Beyoncé’s start of her world tour in Sweden appears to have had an impact on inflation in May, but it’s uncertain how much,” said Michael Grahn, chief economist at Danske Bank Sweden.

In a social media post, Grahn said her much-hyped concerts in May “probably” accounted for 0.2 percentage points of the 0.3 percentage point increase in hotel and restaurant prices.

In mid-May, tens of thousands of fans flocked to Stockholm for the two concerts that kicked off her first solo tour in seven years.

interest rate

Inflation peaked at 12.3% in December – the highest level in more than 30 years – before easing slightly to 11.7% in January, before unexpectedly picking up to 12% in February.

Like its U.S. and European counterparts, Sweden’s central bank has repeatedly raised its guidance rate to curb inflation.

The Riksbank raised interest rates to 3.5% in late April and said it was “likely” to raise rates by another 25 basis points in June or September.

The constant-rate adjusted inflation rate (CPIF) — the number the Riksbank uses to guide monetary policy — was 6.7% in May, compared with 7.6% in April.

For 2023 as a whole, the central bank expects the Swedish economy to contract by 0.7%, and forecasts unadjusted inflation of 8.9% and rising unemployment.

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