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Country Forecast Sweden September 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Sweden September 2017 Updater

  • September 2017
  • ID: 2557365
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • Following the election in 2014 a coalition government comprising the Social Democratic Party (SAP) and the Green Party took office. This red-green, centre-left coalition, which replaced the four-party, centre-right Alliance for Sweden government, has a smaller parliamentary minority than its predecessor, owing to a rise in the number of seats gained by the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), which hold the balance of power in parliament.
  • In 2016 ad hoc co-operation between the coalition and the opposition parties prevented the SD from triggering a government crisis. However, risks to political stability increased in 2017 after the Moderate Party announced in January that it would present an opposition 2018 budget and accept support from the SD, with the aim of unseating the government. Political tensions rose further in July and August amid news of a leak of sensitive data by a government agency and the resignation of the leader of the Moderate Party.
  • Under new leadership, the Moderate Party is likely to continue its collaboration with the SD. However, at least two of the other Alliance parties reject this, and most want to avoid a snap election before the scheduled vote, in September 2018. The Economic Intelligence Unit expects that this will enable the SAP-led coalition to last its full term, but that the other Alliance parties will fall into line with the Moderates' strategy, bringing a centre-right government into office.
  • National security will remain a priority after a terrorist attack in the capital, Stockholm, in April, and in view of increased tensions with Russia. Sweden will co-operate more closely with NATO members and its Nordic neighbours, and will increase defence spending in 2017-21 to bolster its military capabilities.
  • In 2016 the Riksbank (the central bank) cut its main policy rate to -0.5% and launched a quantitative easing programme that will run until the end of 2017. The bank has also extended its mandate to intervene, if necessary, in the foreign-exchange market to offset appreciation pressures on the krona that would jeopardise its inflation target. We do not expect further easing from the bank in 2017, but monetary policy will remain extremely accommodative.
  • The pace of economic growth accelerated in the second quarter of 2017. After real GDP growth of 3% in 2016, we forecast growth of 3.2% in 2017, and 2.4% in 2018-21, driven by private consumption and investment. Growth in Sweden will continue to outperform the EU average.

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