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Is Beyoncé fueling Swedish inflation?

The inflation rate in Sweden has not fallen as expected recently. Blame it on Beyoncé, says an economist. The US singer began her world tour in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

“Renaissance” is the title of her new album, with which the US singer Beyoncé is currently touring the world. The singer opened the tour in Sweden’s capital Stockholm at the beginning of May. And according to the chief economist at Danske Bank in Sweden, Michael Grahn, should have fueled Swedish inflation.

“Beyoncé is responsible for the extra surprise this month, which is pretty amazing for a single event,” Grahan told the Financial Times. “We’ve never seen that before.”

Core inflation fell only slightly

In Sweden, the inflation rate was 9.7 percent in May, after 10.5 percent in April. This means that inflation in May fell below the ten percent mark for the first time in months. However, so-called core inflation in May, which does not take into account volatile energy and food prices, fell by just 0.2 percent – far less than economists had expected.

The Swedish statistical office cites the higher prices for hotels and restaurants as a price driver, in addition to high interest expenses for real estate purchases and clothing. According to the statistics agency, higher prices for hotels and restaurants alone contributed 0.3 percentage points to Swedish inflation.

“Beyoncé Effect”

Grahn calls this the “Beyoncé Effect”. Hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world traveled to Stockholm for the opening concert on May 10 – hoteliers used this to demand higher prices. According to the “Financial Times”, similar effects are already known from major sports tournaments. That is why the economist also assumes that the effect will subside again in June.

The singer is on tour for the first time in seven years and the tour announcement has already triggered a huge demand for tickets. On Thursday the singer will give her first of three German concerts in Cologne. In the coming week she will also be appearing in Hamburg and Frankfurt, and tickets for the concerts have been sold out for months. So far, the “Beyoncé Effect,” as Grahn called it, has been showing up, but not yet in the inflation data for other countries where the singer has performed before.

Soon the “Springsteen Effect”?

Incidentally, people there hope that Bruce Springsteen’s concerts in Gothenburg will not also have a “Beyoncé effect”. Andreas Wallstrom, head of forecasting at Swedbank, told the Financial Times he feared the Springsteen concerts could also lead to rising prices in the hotel and catering industry.

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