Swedish Bank Optimistic over Future

One of Sweden's major banks, Handelsbanken is predicting better times ahead for the Swedish economy.

The bank's chief economist Jan Häggström told Radio Sweden that the country's exporters are becoming more optimistic about the economic outlook.

He also said that Sweden was in a good position going into the downturn with household and public finances very strong.

"The worst of the financial crisis is behind us. There is no lack of credit availability in Sweden, in fact there's very strong growth in lending to the housing and corporate sector."

Jan Häggström added that Sweden's exporters are benefiting from the growth in one of their major markets, China.

The Handelsbanken forecast says that while Sweden's GNP will shrink by 4.7 percent this year, next year it should rebound with a 2 percent increase, followed by a 3 percent boost in 2011.