Beyoncé’ world tour launch in Sweden has been linked to an unexpected rise in inflation in the country.
According to Danske Bank’s chief economist for Sweden, Michael Grahn, the demand generated by the singer’s two sold-out concerts in Stockholm in May led to a surge in hotel and restaurant bookings, thereby contributing to higher-than-anticipated inflation figures for that month.
Grahn took to Twitter, stating, “Beyoncé’s start of her world tour in Sweden seems to have colored May inflation.”
Although the exact impact remains uncertain, he suggested that the concerts likely accounted for approximately 0.2% of the overall 9.7% inflation rate, representing two-thirds of the 0.3% increase attributed to hotels and restaurants.
The economist further explained that the development was “astonishing” and unprecedented in Sweden. Some dedicated fans even booked hotel rooms up to 40 miles outside of Stockholm due to the overwhelming demand. However, Grahn expects the inflationary effect to be reversed in June as hotel and ticket prices return to normal.
Visit Stockholm, the city’s official tourism agency, acknowledged the “Beyoncé effect” as the cause behind high tourism levels and near-full hotel occupancy. It noted that visitors from the United States, Germany, and Britain accounted for a significant portion of the bookings.
While Forbes magazine estimated potential earnings from the tour to exceed $2 billion, it also recognized that the figure was based on optimistic assumptions. The Renaissance World Tour marked Beyoncé’s first solo tour in seven years and has garnered immense interest, with fans from around the world seizing the opportunity to attend the concerts in Europe and the upcoming shows in the United States.
The unexpected inflation surge in Sweden, where consumer prices rose by 9.7% in May, marked the first time inflation fell below 10% in over six months. Statistics Sweden attributed the lower inflation rate to decreased electricity and food prices, while highlighting the rising costs of goods and services such as hotel and restaurant visits, recreational services, and clothing.
Economists anticipate the inflationary effect to subside in June. However, concerns have been raised about a potential similar impact when Bruce Springsteen performs three nights of concerts in Gothenburg at the end of the month.
Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, has been raising its guiding interest rate to counter persistent inflation. Having already reached 3.5% in late April, the bank is expected to increase it by another quarter-point in June or September. The Riksbank aims to bring down headline inflation to its target of 2%.
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