Beyonce blamed for inflation rise in EU country
Swedish inflation declined less than expected in May, as Beyonce fans flocked from around the world to her concerts in Stockholm, possibly driving an increase in hotel and restaurant prices, data published by Statistics Sweden showed on Wednesday.
Consumer prices rose by 9.7% last month on an annual basis, down from 10.5% in April, falling below 10% for the first time in six months, the report said.
Core inflation, which excludes energy costs and the effect of interest rate changes, jumped 8.2% year-on-year, higher than the 8.1% expected by Riksbank, the Swedish central bank.
Although a decrease in electricity and food prices contributed to the lower inflation rate in May, costs of certain goods and services have increased, a statistician at Statistics Sweden, Mikael Nordin, said in a statement.
The chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, Michael Grahn, linked hotter inflation to the tour made by the American R&B star.
"Beyonce's start of her world tour in Sweden seems to have colored May inflation, how much is uncertain," he said. Grahn wrote on Twitter that Beyonce's much-hyped concerts in May, which marked her first solo tour in seven years, probably accounted for 0.2 of the 0.3 percentage points added to inflation.
More than 80,000 Beyonce fans flooded Stockholm over two nights and likely contributed to a surprisingly sharp increase in hotel and restaurant prices, which rose 3.3% in May compared to the previous month. Prices for recreation, cultural activities, and clothing also increased, the data showed.
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