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Port of Gothenburg

Car exports up by 33 per cent

Swedish car exports rose by 33 per cent in the second quarter. China remains an important market that continues to grow, shows Business Region Göteborg’s third Economic Outlook report of 2018.

Overall the Gothenburg region’s business environment continues to perform very strongly. But there are some potential risks, including indications of a possible reduction in the number of new housing projects starting up. 

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Swedish car exports, the majority of which are from the Gothenburg region, have shown strong growth. In the second quarter, car exports increased by 33 per cent compared with the same period the previous year. Above all, the increase was driven by a surge in exports to Norway (+54%) and Denmark (+45%), as well as further growth in the important China market (+23%). The US market, which was remarkably strong in 2016 and 2017, fell by 32 per cent year-on-year.  

“We have seen a strong surge in car exports, particularly to neighbouring countries. That the region’s total car exports have increased despite a drop in the US market, shows that these exports are now spread across more markets than they were in the past,” says Peter Warda, analyst at Business Region Göteborg.    

Strong wage sum growth

The unemployment rate in the Gothenburg region remains the lowest among Sweden’s metropolitan regions. At the same time, employment growth was 2.2 per cent, which is higher than for the Malmö region and Sweden as a whole (+1.7 per cent), but slightly lower than for the Stockholm region (+2.3 per cent).

The rise in employment continues to drive up the wage sum in the Gothenburg region at a faster pace than for Sweden as a whole. In the second quarter of 2018, real growth in total wage sum in the region was 6.3 per cent. In real terms this increase is equivalent to SEK 3.2 billion and 83 per cent of the growth is created by the region’s companies.  

“The labour market in the Gothenburg region is remarkably strong. Between 2010 and 2017 around 70,000 jobs have been created in the region and job growth has continued during the first half of 2018, with around 10,000 new jobs. Wage sum growth in the private sector is close to 7 per cent, which indicates that many of the new jobs are also well paid,” says Henrik Einarsson, director of business establishment and investment at Business Region Göteborg.            

New housing projects may decrease

The report identifies several potential risks, including signs of increasing trade barriers and that the housing market may lose pace; even if we continue to have a high number of housing projects starting in the Gothenburg region.

“We see that sales of homes are taking longer and that new housing projects in other parts of the country are not being started to the same extent. Both of these trends can indicate that Gothenburg may also see a decline in the future,” says Henrik Einarsson.

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