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Why has Swedish Inflation been Persistently Low?

  • Felix Hüfner

Average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid- 1990s. Three supply-side factors help to explain this phenomenon, all related in some sense to increased global integration. First, a shift towards imports from low-cost producing countries has resulted in falling import prices. Second, deregulation and increased product market competition with foreign companies entering the market has led to price falls in some sectors, notably in retailing. Third, wage growth has lagged productivity and kept unit labour costs down. This paper reviews these factors and analyzes the policy options for the central bank. This paper relates to the OECD Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 ( Pourquoi l'inflation suédoise est-elle restée obstinément faible ? Depuis le milieu des années 90, la Suède affiche un des taux moyens d'inflation les plus faibles d'Europe. Ce phénomène s'explique en partie par trois facteurs relevant de l'offre, tous liés d'une certaine manière à l'intégration croissante de l'économie mondiale. Premièrement, un glissement vers les importations des pays à bas coûts de production s'est traduit par une baisse des prix des importations. Deuxièmement, la déréglementation et le renforcement de la concurrence avec les entreprises étrangères sur les marchés de produits ont entraîné une diminution des prix dans certains secteurs, notamment dans le commerce de détail. Troisièmement, la croissance des salaires a été plus lente que celle de la productivité, ce qui a maintenu les coûts unitaires de main d'oeuvre à un bas niveau. Ce document passe en revue ces facteurs et analyse les options politiques pour la banque centrale. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Suède 2007 (

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 560.

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Date of creation: 11 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:560-en
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