Beyoncé blamed for keeping inflation high in Sweden. Is Springsteen next?

By Anna Cooban, CNN

London CNN  —  Swedish consumers now have Beyoncé to blame for their bills, bills, bills.

The chief economist at Danske Bank, the biggest bank in neighboring Denmark, said Wednesday that the singer’s decision to kick off her “Renaissance” world tour in Stockholm last month led to a surge in hotel and restaurant prices in the area as tens of thousands of fans descended on the city.

Michael Grahn estimated that the extra demand from Beyoncé’s fans, known collectively as the BeyHive, was behind two-thirds of the price rises seen in the hospitality sector in May.

That, in turn, contributed to a more modest decline in overall inflation than had been expected. Annual consumer price inflation eased to 9.7% in May from 10.5% the previous month, official statistics show, while economists polled by Reuters had predicted a sharper slowdown to 9.4%.

“[That’s] definitely not normal,” Grahn told CNN. “Stars come here all the time, [but] we seldom see effects like this.”

Grahn said many fans had traveled to Sweden for the two sold-out concerts in the country as tickets were relatively cheaper than elsewhere and a “very weak” Swedish currency boosted their spending power.

Some of Beyoncé’s US fans told BuzzFeed News in February that they had snapped up tickets for the singer’s Swedish concerts at a huge discount to her US shows.

Grahn noted that “there are a limited number of hotels and accommodation in the Stockholm area,” adding that hotels as far away as 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the capital put up their prices as a result.

Still, he expects the Beyoncé effect to be short-lived, with hotel prices likely to fall over June.

Bruce Springsteen is due to play three shows in the Swedish city of Gothenburg later this month, which could put an upward pressure on prices, Grahn said, but that’s not as likely.

“What we saw with Beyoncé was a little bit special.”

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