Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Unexpected rise in Swedish retail

Swedish kroner
Many analysts believe the negative trend in retail sales will continue

Retail sales in Sweden rose 0.4% during November, but were still down 0.1% from the same period in 2007.

Despite the global economic downturn, the Swedish Retail Institute and the statistics office said they expected record Christmas retail sales.

"Retail sales recovered slightly... but the negative trend persists," said Erica Blomgren at corporate bank SEB.

Many analysts believe the negative trend in retail sales will continue during the next year.

In October, retail sales fell a revised 0.8%, but went down a revised 1.2% from a year earlier.

"It's encouraging to see that it's a bit better [in November] but that doesn't change the broader picture of a gradual weakening," said Knut Hallberg at Swedbank.

Separately, Greece has said that its sales by volume rose 0.4% in October from a year ago after falling for three months in a row.

"We may see a drop in the coming months in retail sales due to the economic slowdown and the student unrest in December," said Dimitris Maroulis at Alpha Bank.

In Latvia, retail sales fell 0.4% during November and 15.1% from a year earlier.

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