“Lower prices for electricity and fuel contributed to the inflation rate sinking for the first time since January,” said Carl Mårtensson, a price statistician at the agency, in a press release.
The official inflation rate for July this year was 8 percent, down from 8.5 percent in June, and below the consensus estimate of economists at 8.3 percent.
The fall was almost exclusively the result of falling prices for electricity and fuel, with the price of electricity falling by 8.3 percent month on month and the price of petrol and diesel falling 5.6 percent. Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate rose to 6.6 percent from 6.1 percent in June.
Olle Holmgren, Chief Strategist at Sweden’s SEB Bank said that while inflation pressure remained high, the numbers were cause for hope.
“Inflation pressures remains high, but the composition of price changes gives some hope that the strong upward trend could be losing some steam,” he wrote in a comment.
He noted that the fall in fuel and electricity prices had been offset by an “extremely strong upturn in food prices”, 13.5 percent year on year.
Alexandra Stråberg, chief economist at the Länsförsäkringar insurance company, however, said that she did not think that the dip in headline inflation meant that the risk of rising prices was over.
“Unfortunately, it probably hasn’t turned the corner yet,” she told TT. “This is only a short pause.”
In the chart below from SCB’s press release you can see how four out of the agency’s inflation indexes have dipped in July, after a year of steady rises.
The index which excludes energy prices, however, has been rising steadily since December.