Beyoncé Likely a Factor in Sweden’s Unexpectedly High Inflation

Can you pay my bills?

That seems to be what Sweden is asking Beyoncé after the star came to town.

When the singer launched her global tour last month in Stockholm, tens of thousands of fans from around the world swarmed the Swedish capital. But it’s not all fun and games for the host of the kickoff of Beyoncé’s first solo tour in seven years.

A senior economist at a top Scandinavian bank says Beyoncé had something to do with Sweden’s higher-than-expected inflation rate last month.

Consumer prices rose 9.7% last month in Sweden compared with a year earlier, the country’s statistics agency, Statistics Sweden, said Wednesday. Costs for certain goods and services, including hotels, rose.

That was a drop from 10.5% in April — the first time that inflation in Sweden has fallen below 10% in more than six months — but it was still slightly higher than economists had predicted.

Michael Grahn, chief economist for Sweden at Danske Bank, thinks Beyoncé’s concert may help explain why.

“Beyonce’s start of her world tour in Sweden seems to have coloured May inflation,” he said on Twitter on Wednesday.

“How much is uncertain,” he added, but the concert “probably” contributed to 0.2 of the 0.3 percentage points that restaurant and hotel prices added to the monthly increase in inflation.

An estimated 46,000 people attended each of Beyoncé’s two Stockholm concerts. Fans from around the world took advantage of Sweden’s relatively weaker currency to buy tickets that were cheaper than in other countries, such as the United States.

“The main impact on inflation, however, came from the fact that all fans needed somewhere to stay,” Grahn told The New York Times. The popularity of the concerts meant some fans had to venture up to 40 miles [64 kilometers] away to find a room, he said.

Grahn told the Financial Times that the phenomenon was “quite astonishing.”

But he added on Twitter that he predicts the situation will return to normal in June.

“We expect this upside surprise to be reversed in June as prices on hotels and tickets reverse back to normal,” he said.

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