Euro nations are finding themselves in the same pickle we’re in: combating problems that might be helping exchange traded funds (ETFs) and other investments, but causing the economy to feel a pinch as consumer spending slows.

The yearly inflation in euro nations hit a record 4% in June, reports Aoife White for the Associated Press. That’s led the European Central Bank to consider raising the key interest rate from 4% to 4.25% to cool things off.

Inflation in those countries is at its highest point in 16 years, and consumers are shying away from making big purchases.

While not a euro country, the outlook toward Sweden’s economy is especially sour, even as Sweden and Norway create a joint financial market in an effort to boost investment in electricity production in renewable resources. When the economy throws out lemons, the Scandinavians know how to make lemonade, as evidenced by the partnership.

iShares MSCI Sweden Index (EWD) has been down 12% over the past two weeks. John Acher for Reuters reports that the Scandinavian neighbors have reached an agreement on the joint market creation of trading "green certificates." These certificates show that a volume of power produced from renewable sources has been demanded by a customer, making an incentive for investment in this type of production.

This could be just the uplift that Sweden’s economy needs, as their consumer confidence indicator has fallen 9 points from May to June. David Landes for The Local reports that the business confidence indicator has remained below average for the past few months, too.

The low confidence in Sweden may have something to do with widening economic class divisions during the past 20 years. Concerns are growing that working class Swedes have not had the same improvements as the white collar higher wage earners. The Local reports that growth has benefited primarily the white collar workers, small business owners and the well-educated people in the big cities.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.