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Swedish government welcomes ECB eurozone boost

Published torsdag 22 januari 2015 kl 17.30
ECB-chefen Mario Draghi och en massa euro.
ECB chief Mario Draghi.Photo: TT

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and finance minister Magdalena Andersson welcomed on Thursday the ECB's €1.1 trillion injection into the ailing eurozone economy.

"It is good that the European Central Bank takes low inflation seriously," Magdalena Andersson (S) said when asked about the ECB's historic support programme to boost inflation.

However, what influence it may have on Sweden, she said, remains to be seen.

"We do not know the overall effect it will have on inflation in Europe or how fast it can go."

"To what extent and how it affects Sweden is also about how the Riksbank will act in the future. But I have noticed that even the Riksbank has also discussed the use of more unconventional methods," she told news Agency TT.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also welcomed the ECB's decision.

"I think that it is positive. It needed a puff and a boost. If monetary policy can go in and do it, it provides greater opportunities for Europe, but also in Sweden," Löfven told journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Robert Bergqvist, chief economist at the SEB bank said that the probability is high that Sweden's Central Bank (the Riksbank) will announce further monetary measures at its policy meeting on 12 February.

"The Riksbank says itself, as I understand it, that it has not yet exhausted the interest rate weapon. So I can see that it could take a small step and go to a negative interest rate, to minus 0.1 percent," he told TT. The key interest rate in Sweden is at a current historic low of zero percent.

Bergqvist believes that the next step could be the buying of government securities.

"It looks like the Riksbank's challenge in 2015 is low inflation, and it is even more important that inflation expectations fall. A central bank, whether it is the ECB or the Riksbank, cannot affect the current inflation but it can affect inflation expectations."

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