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Sweden AB returns a profit for 2005

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20:32 CET+01:00
Increased corporate tax revenues turned an expected balance of payments deficit into a surplus for 2005 - the first since 2002. The final figure was a surplus of 13 billion kronor, according to the Swedish National Debt Office.

"The figures show that the Swedish economy is in the middle of a strong upward spiral, which is evident in strengthened public finances. I calculate that we'll achieve our fiscal objectives for 2005," said finance minister Pär Nuder to TT.

According to Nuder, improvements have been made regarding both expenditure and revenue.

"We've seen strong growth in revenues as higher wages have led to increased consumption and better company results. We've also had a drop in expenditure, mainly due to better sickness figures. There's nothing to suggest the trends can't continue into 2006. The picture is uniformly positive."

However, Nuder didn't want to say whether the rosy economic picture would translate into more funds available for reforms in this election year. The government drew up September's budget assuming a deficit of around 30 billion kronor for 2005.

"This result exceeds all forecasts," said Håkan Carlsson, an analyst at the Swedish National Debt Office. "It's mostly due to improved revenues, such as preliminary tax and VAT payments from companies."

A surplus of 13 billion kronor represents an improvement of 63 billion kronor compared to last year. However, despite the welcome news, the national debt still rose by 52 billion to 1309 billion kronor. This was due to the weak kronor. The debt represents 49% of Sweden's gross national product.

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