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The central bank was founded in 1668

Interest rate up to 1 per cent

People who have borrowed money will be a little lighter in the pocket, as the Swedish central bank has raised their main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point.

This is the third time in a row since this summer that the interest rate has gone up. At the same time, the bank said that down the road, the interest rate probably won't have to go up as much as they'd previously thought.

The current hike will make loans a little more expensive to pay back - and is a sign that the bank does not want to encourage borrowing to the same extent as during the deep financial crisis of last year, when rates were slashed in order to stimulate consumer lending and spending.

The so-called repo rate is now on one per cent. The central bank now says that by the end of 2011 it expects interest rates to be on two per cent - and to be on almost three per cent a year later.

This goes hand in hand with the bank's predictions that the Swedish economy will grow steadily and unemployment will go down over the next few years - and that wages will only rise slowly.

Chief economist of one of Sweden's main banks, SEB, Robert Bergkvist told Radio Sweden, "Even though we still have lots of uncertainty in the global environment, the Swedish economy looks quite good. So, I think the Riksbank would like to normalize the policy rate." 

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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