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Sweden Producer Prices Drop; Retail Sales Growth Slows; Trade Surplus Increases

Sweden's producer prices dropped for the first time in more than three years in January, retail sales growth slowed, and the trade surplus increased, figures from Statistics Sweden showed on Thursday.

The producer price index fell 0.4 percent year-on-year in January, after a 1.3 percent increase in December.

The latest decline was the weakest since July 2016, when prices fell 1.1 percent.

Import prices grew 2.2 percent annually in January and fell 2.5 percent from the previous month.

Export prices fell 0.3 percent in January and declined 1.5 percent a month ago.

On a monthly basis, producer prices fell 1.0 percent in January.

Separate data from the statistical office showed that the retail sales rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in January, after a 2.8 percent increase in December. In November, sales increased 1.6 percent.

Retail sales in consumables, excluding sales at the state-owned chain of liquor stores, rose by 2.5 percent and retail sales in durables increased by 4.1 percent.

On a monthly basis, retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in January. Economists had expected a 0.9 percent fall.

Another data from Statistics Sweden showed that the trade surplus increased to SEK 9.9 billion in January from SEK 1.0 billion in the same month last year. In December, the trade deficit was SEK 2.3 billion.

Exports rose 2.0 percent annually in January, while imports decreased 5.0 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus increased to SEK 5.4 billion in January, compared with a surplus of SEK 3.8 billion in the previous month. In November, the trade surplus was SEK 2.2 billion.

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