STOCKHOLM, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Increasing building costs coupled with interest rate hikes would worsen the housing shortage in the Swedish capital, while the construction industry expected an increase in the number of bankruptcies and layoffs, Swedish media reported on Friday.
"The housing shortage will worsen," Stefan Westerberg, chief economist at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, told Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, citing the findings of their latest business poll.
According to their "Stockholm barometer," the construction sector's outlook was increasingly gloomy as the majority of the city's construction companies were pessimistic about the coming year, Westerberg said.
"This means that construction companies are in a difficult situation." He added.
This opinion is shared by the Swedish Construction Federation, DN reported.
"There will probably be an increased number of bankruptcies and layoffs (among construction companies)," Fredrik Isaksson, chief economist of the trade organization, told DN.
The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has repeatedly warned that the housing shortage in Stockholm means companies in the region are having difficulties attracting new talent.
According to a report released by the business organization in May last year, one third of the 500 largest companies in the Stockholm region cited the housing shortage as one of the main reasons behind their recruitment challenges.
In the European Commission's Economic Forecast released on Monday, Sweden's economy is the worst in the European Union and is predicted to shrink 0.8 percent in 2023. ■