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Swedish Inflation at a 4-Year High, Russian GDP Contraction Eases

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Consumer price inflation in Sweden rose above expectations

Consumer prices in Sweden rose by 1.1% in July on an annual basis—compared to a rise of 1.0% in the previous month and above forecasts of 0.8% growth. It was the highest recorded inflation in Sweden since April 2012—primarily driven by higher prices of utilities and housing as electricity costs went up.

Other sectors like food, clothing and footwear, and hotels and restaurants also contributed to the increase in consumer prices. On a monthly basis, Norwegian inflation expanded by 0.1%—in line with growth in the previous month and better than expectations of an 0.2% contraction. The iShares MSCI Sweden (EWD) rose by 0.8% on August 11 at 4:30 PM EST. Last month, the Swedish GDP released below market expectations. To learn more, read Scandinavian Macroeconomic Data Are below Expectations. Also, industrial production in Sweden fell in June. Read Why Did Swedish Industrial Production Fall? for more details.

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Russian GDP fell by 0.6%

The Russian economy fell by 0.6% on an annual basis in 2Q16—compared to a decline of 1.2% in the previous quarter. However, the fall wasn’t as steep as expected. Investors are expecting the economy to come out of the recession in the coming months. The sluggish movement in crude prices has been an important factor towards the Russian economy shrinking. Also, the fall in the value of the Russian ruble against the US dollar in recent months strengthened the competitiveness of Russia’s exports globally.

The trade surplus for Russia released at $8.1 billion for June—higher than $7.5 billion recorded in the previous month. Exports and imports shrank at a slower pace during the month. The VanEck Vectors Russia (RSX) rose by 1.9%, while the iShares MSCI Russia Capped (ERUS) rose by 1.7% on August 11 at 4:30 PM EST.

Consumer prices in France are mostly in line with the forecast

Consumer prices in France rose by 0.2% in July on an annual basis—in line with expectations and the rise in the previous month. Inflation levels in Europe’s second-largest economy have been releasing below the European Central Bank’s target of 2%. On a monthly basis, French inflation contracted by 0.4%—in line with expectations and against the previous month’s growth of 0.1%. The iShares MSCI France (EWQ) rose by 0.83%, while the iShares MSCI Eurozone (EZU) rose by 0.70% on August 11 at 4:30 PM EST.

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