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The Swedish Ministry of Finance presented the latest forecast for the Swedish economy and public finances on 21 February. “Our forecasts for growth and unemployment remain largely unchanged, but public finances are expected to be somewhat stronger than they were in the last forecast,” said the Minister for Finance, Magdalena Andersson (S). Growth is expected to be 2.8 per cent this year, to then slow to 2.2 per cent next year.
The unemployment forecast remains unchanged and unemployment is expected to continue to fall, at the same time as the employment rate continues to be the highest in over 25 years, according to the key figures forecast February 2018. Public finances are estimated to be somewhat stronger, both this year and next, than what was forecast in December and is primarily due to reduced government expenditure and because tax revenues are considered to be growing slightly faster.
The risk of growth being weaker than expected is substantial. In addition to the risk of a more dramatic slowdown in China, political uncertainty surrounds Brexit and the United States, coupled with recent financial unease and volatile housing prices.
“Now we have finally got a grip on Sweden’s finances,” said the Minister for Finance, according to TT. However, the opposition disagrees. According to the Liberal economic-political spokesman Mats Persson, Andersson presented a fairytale. “The segregation of the labour market is increasing. Employment among foreigners is declining in the midst of a boom. This, Magdalena Andersson does not say anything about. She has not realised the seriousness of this. Reforms are needed to create more simple jobs, but nothing happens,” Persson told Omni.