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Country Report Sweden September 2017

Country Report Sweden September 2017

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557353
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2017-21

  • Despite the political turmoil that followed news of a breach of sensitive data by a government agency in July 2017, The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the governing coalition to last its full term, to 2018.
  • The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) hold the balance of power in parlia-ment and have threatened to trigger a government crisis and an early election. However, most of the opposition parties want to avoid this.
  • The more centrist opposition parties reject collaboration with the SD, but there is a strong chance that they will reluctantly agree to support the party after the next election, producing a centre-right majority government.
  • Economic activity in the first half of 2017 has been strong, and we forecast full-year real GDP growth of 3.2%. Thereafter we expect the pace of growth to ease, to 2.4% on average in 2018-21.
  • Private consumption and gross fixed capital formation will be the primary drivers of economic growth in 2017-21, supported by low borrowing rates.
  • Monetary policy will remain expansionary. In 2016 the Riksbank (the central bank) cut its policy rate to -0.5%, and in April 2017 it expanded its asset purchase programme to end-2017. We do not expect further policy loosening this year.
  • Unwinding energy price base effects have pushed up inflation in early 2017. After inflation of 1% (national measure) in 2016, we forecast that inflation will rise to 1.7% this year and 1.9% on average in 2018-21.


  • In a press conference held on August 25th Anna Kinberg Batra announced her resignation as leader of the main opposition centre-right Moderate Party, having yielded to pressure from the youth wing of the party and regional party districts, who criticised her performance.
  • Two opinion polls conducted after a data breach from the Swedish Transport Agency was made public in late July put support for the governing parties at a higher or similar level than before the scandal.
  • Data published by Statistics Sweden showed an unexpected rise in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July, to 7.3%-the highest since September 2015. The unemployment rate averaged 6.8% in January-July.
  • In June industrial production increased by a seasonally and working-day-adjusted 0.8% month on month, and by 8.8% year on year. However, industrial orders declined in June, by 1.2% month on month, but were still higher year on year, by 4.4%.
  • At the policy meeting on September 6th the Riksbank revised up its forecasts for growth and inflation, but kept its monetary stance unchanged.

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