Inflation rates, like in much of Europe, are pretty high in Sweden right now. Official statistics put Swedish inflation at just below 10% in May but a 9.7% rise in year-on-year prices was still higher than expected. This week economic experts in the country have pointed to an unlikely cause for higher-than-predicted number: Beyoncé.
It was in the Swedish capital Stockholm that Beyoncé kicked off her Renaissance world tour. Naturally, many fans who didn't want to wait for the tour to come to their home country flocked to the shows. This, it has been suggested, led to a rise in prices on goods and services such as hotels and restaurants. In an email to the Washington Post last month, Visit Stockholm cited the "Beyoncé effect" for an uptick in tourism.
Michael Grahn, chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, has suggested that Beyoncé’s visit "coloured May inflation," though admitted "how much is uncertain." He estimated 0.2 to 0.3% of the 9.7% was down to the sold-out Renaissance shows at the Friends Arena on May 10-11.
On social media Grahn said that her much-hyped concert in May “probably” accounted for 0.2 of the 0.3 percentage points added to inflation by hotels and restaurant prices.
He went on to tell the Wall Street Journal that the effect was “very rare” and that it will most likely return to normal in June. However, it has also been suggested that a series of Bruce Springsteen concerts in Gothenburg later this month could have a similar effect.
The Renaissance world tour is due to arrive in North America in July and will continue until late September.