3.0% growth - Sweden tops Europe!
Nobody saw it coming, but nobody is complaining, either. When the numbers were added up for the first quarter of this year, Sweden's gross national product showed a three percent increase, which surprised most experts at home and throughout the European Union.

The previously anticipated increase was as low as around half a percentage point. According to projections from the European Union, Sweden will have the smallest budget deficit in the EU this and next year.

Moreover, confirming that the nation's financial health was improving from the recession better than any other EU nation, the final count rose to more than double that which Sweden had achieved in the preceding three months. The seasonally adjusted GNP in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 1.4%.

Contributing most to the positive development were consumer household spending (+3.1%) and government expenditures (+.5%). Household disposable income rose by 2.7% while household net lending decreased by SEK 5.9 billion.

Costs for the purchase of automobiles and other transport contributed mainly to the strong performance, including the purchase of new cars rose by 45 percent. Positive contributions also came from including consumption of food, retail goods and the Swedes' consumption abroad. Exports increased by 4.2% and imports increased by 4.4%.

Business investment fell by 2.2%, although stock Investments increased GDP growth by 1.4 percentage points. Forecasts now shown in the report, complied by the Swedish bureau of statistics (SCB), show that second quarter figures have been revised upwards, third quarter predictions have been revised downwards. and their guesses for the fourth quarter remain principally unaltered.