Swedish food prices edged 0.4% higher in December from November last year, giving a year-on-year increase of 1.2%, according to Statistics Sweden. December food prices were in line with the overall inflation in the Swedish economy. According to the bureau's Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation in December was 1.4%, down from 1.7% recorded in November.

Domestic meat prices were relatively steady in December, contrary to many other EU countries which have been plagued by the BSE crisis. Sweden has so far been spared any cases of BSE. Over the year, beef prices were up 1.6% in December after a monthly decline of 0.3%. Pork meat prices had risen 2.3% in year following a 1.3% rise in month.

Fresh fruit prices climbed 1.2% in the month to December and were unchanged over the year, while vegetable prices, meanwhile were up 2.9% in the year.

By Jerry Simonsson, just-food.com correspondent