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Beyonce blamed for surprise rise in inflation in Sweden

The start of the singer’s world tour in Sweden in May sparked such a demand for hotels and restaurants that it could explain why the rate of inflation was higher than expected in the country for that month, according to an economist.

Two concerts performed by Beyonce in Stockholm last month may have caused Swedish inflation to rise, a senior economist has suggested.

The American superstar kicked off her Renaissance World Tour in Sweden, playing two sold out gigs in the Swedish capital on 10 and 11 May.

And it appears the demand for hotel rooms and restaurant bookings was so intense that it pushed up the official inflation statistics.

Michael Grahn, Danske Bank’s chief economist for Sweden, tweeted: “Beyonce’s start of her world tour in Sweden seems to have coloured May inflation.”

The exact amount is “uncertain”, he added, but said the concerts “probably” added about 0.2% to the overall rise of 9.7%.

It amounts to two thirds of the 0.3% added by hotels and restaurants.

Mr Grahn told the Financial Times it was an “astonishing” development and not something Sweden had experienced before.

Some fans booked hotel rooms up to 40 miles outside Stockholm, the economist said.

He added on Twitter: “We expect this upside surprise to be reversed in June as prices on hotels and tickets reverse back to normal.”

Visit Stockholm has attributed high levels of tourism and almost full hotel occupancy to the “Beyonce effect”.

In an email to The Washington Post last month, it said visitors from the United States, Germany and Britain accounted for the largest number of bookings in the city.

Earnings from the tour could exceed $2bn (£1.6bn), according to Forbes magazine, although it admits that figure is based on the “most optimistic assumptions”.

Beyonce went from Stockholm to Brussels last month, then headed for the UK, where she played Cardiff, Edinburgh and Sunderland, before five dates at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

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