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Sweden Sees Record-Breaking Spike in Food Prices in February

© AFP 2023 / TT NEWS AGENCY / PONTUS LUNDAHLSwedish bank notes
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In February, the Nordic country's economy was named the worst performer of all the EU's 27 member states in the European Commission's latest forecast and is predicted to shrink further by 1.1% in 2023.
Caught in economic turmoil, Sweden has been buckling under skyrocketing food inflation.
The price increase for food in February became the highest that Matpriskollen, an independent supermarket price comparison site, has ever measured. Baby food and gruel are among the things that have increased the most at 11.7% and 9.3% respectively in February alone.
"We have never seen numbers this high before," the site's founder Ulf Mazur told Swedish media.
According to him, February's overall price increase of 2.1% on daily goods is a monthly record. For food alone, the hike is even greater, in total, 2.5% higher than in January.

"For the whole of 2021, the price increase for daily goods was 1.1 percent. Now it is twice as much in February alone," Mazur explained.

During the first two months of the year, the price hikes on daily goods came to 3.4%, which Mazur described as "startling," as the spike in the cost of key goods affects society's most vulnerable groups. According to Mazur, the hikes are no longer about agriculture per se, as it involves other branches such as packaging, transportation and raw materials as well as imports.
Matpriskollen is a company launched in 2015 that runs an app for consumers and collects food prices from various chains. Consumers can use the app to compare prices and offers. For the recent batch of data, it examined some 44,000 items in big chain stores.
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Finnish Economy Enters Technical Recession Amid Inflation Spike
In February, Sweden's economy was named the worst performer of all of the EU's 27 member states in the European Commission's latest forecast. Sweden's economy shrank by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022. The decline sent a ripple across the economy, affecting business investment and household consumption.
The country's economic decline has been blamed on massive inflation that reached 12.3% in late 2022 and rising housing costs, both largely a by-product of self-inflicted damage from the illegal sanctions the EU has imposed on Moscow as "punishment" for the special op in Ukraine in a ham-fisted attempt to dismantle the Russian economy. In Sweden's case, this economic debacle has been exacerbated by the population's excessive level of indebtedness and the tradition of having variable interest rates on loans and mortgages, which under present circumstances is said to throttle purchasing power faster and more drastically than in fellow EU states.
The Swedish central bank said it expected the nation's GDP to fall by 1.1% in 2023, in line with the European average. Meanwhile, Sweden's neighbor, Finland, has entered technical recession after seeing its GDP lag for two quarters in a row.
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