"Activity in the Swedish economy rebounded in January with growth in both goods exports and household consumption in parallel with growing production among public authorities," said Neda Shahbazi, national economist at Statistics Norway, in a press release.
– It was a strong figure, Nordea's chief analyst Torbjörn Isaksson, told TT newswire.
– A single month should be taken with a grain of salt, Isaksson continued, but it could indicate that the Swedish economy is doing better than expected, despite inflation and rising interest rates, which many thought would throttle household spending
– This could alleviate the Riksbank's concern about future growth and prod the central bank to raise the interest rate, says Isaksson.
Even before the GDP figure for January came out, the forecast among the majority of economists was that the Riksbank would raise the policy rate by 0.50 percentage points at the next meeting in April.
Isaksson still believes, however, that the Swedish economy will weaken as consumers become increasingly cautious.
Statistics Norway figures were also published which show that industrial production increased by 3.5 percent at an annual rate in January. Service production increased by 1.0 percent.