Is Beyonce Responsible for Sweden’s Surprisingly High Inflation?

Photo credit: Arnie Papp/Wikimedia Commons

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Who runs the world? Everyone knows it’s Beyonce, but now a handful of Nordic economists have confirmed it.

Sweden’s inflation rate exceeded expectations in May, according to data revealed by its government on Wednesday. And now economists at Danske Bank are pointing fingers at Queen Bey. Seriously.

Crazy in Love

Normally, local economies would welcome the arrival of touring pop superstars. Taylor Swift’s current Eras Tour, for example, is expected to pump roughly $4.6 billion into local US economies, according to a recent Fortune report. But the BeyHive — a.k.a. Beyonce’s biggest fans — are notoriously devoted to the former member of Destiny’s Child. So much so that they’re willing to travel the world over to witness live renditions of their favorite radio hits, paying exorbitant prices on not just stadium tickets, but airfare and hotel rooms in the process. And therein lies the problem, Danske Bank economists said Wednesday.

See, Beyonce kicked off her worldwide Renaissance tour with two sold-out performances in Stockholm last month. And, well, BeyHive adherents have something of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to following Queen Bey’s every move:

  • Some 46,000 fans attended each night of Beyonce’s Stockholm stint, spurring a hotel price surge that rippled beyond city limits and swarming local restaurants — thanks especially to US fans seizing the opportunity to gorge on a friendly US Dollar-Swedish Krona exchange rate.
  • The country’s core inflation measure hit 8.2% in May, according to Sweden Statistics, just 0.2% lower than April’s rates and missing the 7.8% mark that many had expected. Restaurants and hotels contributed 0.3% and recreation and culture added another 0.2% to the inflation figure, the agency said.

Sweden has a Problem: “Beyoncé is responsible for the extra upside surprise this month,” Danske’s chief economist in Sweden Michael Grahn said. “It’s quite astonishing for a single event. We haven’t seen this before.” Grahn also estimates the Beyonce tour accounted for 0.2% of the increase. Unfortunately for Sweden, Bruce Springsteen is slated to play three nights in Gothenburg at the end of the month. The Nordic nation may have to issue a strong message to touring pop stars: You may break our economy, but you won’t break our soul.