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The Consumption Report 2018 - Summary


The Consumption Report 2018 (Konsumtionsrapporten 2018) provides an overview of the consumption of Swedish households and how it has evolved over the past decade. The report consists of two parts. The first part, "Basic facts", gives an overview of households' expenditures based on statistics from Postnord, HUI-Research, Statistics Sweden, the SOM-institute at University of Goth¬enburg. The first part analyzes national consumption patterns of the Swedish housholds, Swedish retailing, Swedish consumption trends, and consumer's life satisfaction in relation to consumption.

Following basic facts are three "indepth articles" which highlights some consumption areas of certain interest. Detailed statistics are presented in appendixes. The report is published by Centre for Consumer Science at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.

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Basic facts

• The Swedish households had expenditures of SEK 1978 billions in 2017.

• The households’ expenditures increased 2.3 percent compared to 2016 and increased 22 percent compared to 2007.

• Between 2016 and 2017 the households’ expenditures increased in all categories, except alcohol and tobacco.

• The total prices increased with 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017. During the period 2007-2017, the prices increased 10.9 percent. Expenditure groups that increased the most since 2016 were:

• Direct purchases abroad by residents, 11.5 percent.

• Purchases by non-resident households in Sweden 7.8 percent.

• Communication services, 6.7 percent.

• Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 3.9 percent.

• Restaurants and hotels, 2.9 percent.

Expenditure groups that increased the most between 2007 and 2017 were:

• Direct purchases abroad by residents, 77 percent.

• Purchases by non-resident households in Sweden 70 percent.

• Communication services, 49 percent.

• Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 40 percent.

• Leisure time and culture, 36 percent.

Other highlights

• Between 2010 and 2017, the consumption increased with 16.2 percent, while the consumers themselves perceive an increase of 4.7 percent.

• Swedish households underestimate the amount of money spent on transportations, furniture and clothes. The underestimation increases over time.

• Repairs of consumer electronics, computers, furniture, shoes and household appliances have decreased during the period 2008-2017.

• Second-hand shopping is less common in 2017 compared to 2016.

• E-shopping is an up-going trend.

• Swedish consumers have never reported a higher degree of life satisfaction than in 2017.

In-depth articles

Digitalization changes human behavior

• The music industry is a pioneer (e.g. Spotify) when it comes to behavioral change

• Local newspapers in the morning have not digitalized as much as nationally-wide evening papers

• The digitalization improves the understanding of consumers´ needs and lifestyles.

• The digitalization influences personified consumption which in turn influences the consumer’s wellbeing

• Through behavioral change, the digitalization is assumed to increase the total consumption

Usage of mobile phones in physical stores

• The usage of mobile-phones in the physical store increases.

• Mobile usage in stores are especially common among women, younger consumers and people who use internet frequently.

• In food stores, the mobile is often used for receiving advices from others.

• In clothes stores, the mobile is often used in order to search for information regarding products.

• Consumers who have tried to pay with the mobile phone, have usually adopted this behavior on a regular basis.

• The mobile-phone make the consumer more detached from the physical environment, for instance when it comes to visual and audial stimuli.

Plastic consumption

Plastic consumption increase because of:

• Single-use articles increases and is related to a “to-go lifestyle”

• Laws are not implicated

• Politicians, corporations and consumers are not taking responsibiliy