STOCKHOLM: Sweden's inflation slowed more than expected in April as food prices dropped for the first time since 2021, official data showed Monday, possibly giving the central bank room to pause its rate-hike campaign.
Consumer prices rose by 10.5 percent last month, compared to 10.6 percent in March, reports AFP.
The statistics agency also noted that fuel prices had fallen seven percent over the past year.
Inflation peaked in December at 12.3 percent -- a more than 30-year high -- then slowed down slightly in January to 11.7 percent, but unexpectedly spiked back to 12 percent in February.
Like its peers in the United States and Europe, Sweden's central bank has repeatedly hiked its guiding rate in an effort to rein in inflation.
Riksbank raised the rate to 3.5 percent in late April and said it would "probably" raise it by another quarter-point in June or September.
Sweden's inflation adjusted for fixed interest rates (CPIF) -- the figure used by the Riksbank to guide monetary policy -- was 7.6 percent in April, compared to 8.0 percent in March.
For 2023 as a whole, the central bank expects the Swedish economy to contract 0.7 percent, and has forecasted unadjusted inflation of 8.9 percent and rising unemployment.