In Europe’s fierce battle with inflation, another culprit has apparently emerged: Beyoncé.
Last month, like star kicked off his world tour in Stockholmfans flocked from all over the world to witness the show, pushing up hotel room rates. This could explain some of the reasons why Sweden’s inflation rate was higher than expected in May.
Consumer prices in Sweden they rose by 9.7 percent last month a year earlier, the country’s statistics office, Statistics Sweden, said on Wednesday. The rate fell from 10.5 percent the previous month, but was slightly higher than economists had expected.
Michael Grahn, an economist at Danske Bank, said the start of Beyoncé’s tour may have had an impact on the inflation figures. “How much is uncertain,” he wrote on Twitterbut it could account for most of the 0.3 percentage points that restaurant and hotel prices added to the monthly increase in inflation.
Restaurant and hotel prices rose by 3.3 percent in May compared to the previous month, and prices for recreation and cultural activities and clothing also increased.
Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour, her first solo tour since 2016, kicked off on May 10 in Stockholm with two nights at the 50,000-capacity arena. Fans from all over the world took advantage of the favorable exchange rates and flew in to buy tickets that were cheaper than for example in the United States or Britain.
Mr. Grahn said in an email that he would not blame Beyoncé for the high inflation number, but that “her performance and the global demand to see her in Sweden probably added a little to it.”
He added that the weakness of Sweden’s currency, the krona, would contribute to demand as would cheaper airfares. “However, the main impact on inflation comes from the fact that all the fans needed somewhere to stay,” he said, adding that fans were taking rooms as far away as 40 miles away. But the impact will only be short-lived as prices will rebound this month.
While this is a “very rare” effect, he said Sweden has experienced this kind of inflationary effect on hotel prices before, since the 2017 soccer cup final when foreign teams played in the country.
“So it’s not unheard of, although unusual,” Mr. Grahn said.
Carl Martensson, a statistician at Statistics Sweden, said that “Beyoncé probably had an effect on hotel prices in Stockholm the week she performed there.” But he added: “It shouldn’t have had any significant impact on Swedish inflation in May.”