Borg: Statistics error to cost state ‘millions’

A calculating error by Statistics Sweden (SCB) will cost the government several hundred million kronor in 2009, the finance minister has said.

Borg: Statistics error to cost state 'millions'

On Tuesday it was revealed that the statistics agency erred when calculating changes in consumer prices.

The faulty consumer price index was then used by the government to come up with a new base amount (prisbasbelopp), a figure indexed to consumer prices which is subsequently used to calculate the levels at which certain public benefits are paid.

The base amount is adjusted annually to ensure that the real value of benefits paid isn’t eroded by rising prices.

The base amount for 2009 went up by 1,800 kronor ($263) to 42,800 kronor.

The mistake put a dent in government forecasts for both the income and expense side of the balance sheet.

Altogether, Statistics Sweden’s miscalculation will likely cost the state between 600 and 700 million kronor, said Minister of Finance Anders Borg on Thursday.

“It’s problematic that SCB made this mistake. We’ll just have to live with the fact that we’ll have these effects in 2009,” Borg told Dagens Industri.


Spain’s inflation soars to 29-year high

Spanish inflation accelerated in November to its highest level in nearly three decades on the back of rising food and gas prices, official data showed Monday.

black friday spain
Black Friday sales can't disguise the fact for shoppers that life in Spain is getting increasingly expensive. Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Consumer prices jumped by 5.6 percent, up from a 5.4 percent increase in October, according to preliminary figures from national statistics institute.

That is its fastest pace since September 1992, when the rate was 5.8 percent.

The surge in inflation in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy was due largely to a spike in food prices, followed by higher gas prices, the statistics office said.

Electricity costs, however, declined slightly after a month-long acceleration, it added.

As in other European Union nations, inflation in Spain has risen since the start of the year after consumer prices declined during most of 2020 due to the economic impact of pandemic lockdowns.

In October, eurozone inflation reached 4.1 percent, well above the European Central Bank’s target of two percent and equal to a high set in July 2008.

But the bank believes eurozone inflation will peak in November and is set to gradually slow next year as supply bottlenecks and the energy crunch ease, board member Isabel Schnabel said earlier this month.

Investors worry central banks will withdraw their stimulus measures sooner than expected to tame inflation.