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Swedish budget surplus by 2011: report

AFP/The Local · 16 Nov 2010, 14:53

Published: 16 Nov 2010 14:53 GMT+01:00

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"The Swedish economy appears to be stronger than in our previous forecast (in June), in particular in 2010. The recovery in Sweden has been stronger than in the euro area and the United States," said the National Debt Office, which is the government's financial manager.

Sweden is now expected to post a budget deficit of just five billion kronor ($726 million) this year, down from the previous forecast of a 14-billion-kronor deficit, the debt office said in a statement.

"The budget is thus almost balanced. This strong development continues in 2011 and 2012 when the forecast indicates a central government budget surplus of 18 billion kronor and 78 billion kronor respectively," it said.

The debt office had previously said it expected to see a budget deficit of around eight billion kronor next year, while Tuesday marked its first forecast for 2012, according to Håkan Carlsson, who heads up the office's budget forecast division.

"In an international perspective, Swedish finances appear strong," Carlsson told AFP.

Tuesday's announcement came as the European Union president warned the 27-nation bloc would not survive if it failed to overcome a debt crisis plaguing euro currency governments which has already brought Greece to its knees, and now threatens Ireland and Portugal.

Sweden, an EU member but not part of the eurozone, meanwhile should be able to reduce its lending going forward due to its improved financials, the debt office said.

The Swedish central government debt, which unlike the public debt does not include social security and regional authority obligations, was expected to correspond to 35 percent of the country's gross domestic product this year, the debt office said.

In 2011, it would likely correspond to 33 percent of GDP, and in 29 percent in 2012, it added.

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Sweden's total public debt stood at around 39 percent at the end of 2009, down from its all-time high of 76 percent of GDP in 1996.

Although Sweden is not a member of the eurozone, it is one of few European Union countries to fully respect the Maastricht criteria for euro countries, which among other things require that public debt not exceed 60 percent of GDP and that the annual public deficit remain below three percent of GDP.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 November 16, 2010 by Swedesmith
Good for Sweden. Wish I could read the same news about the American budget...hahaha, not in my life time.
18:34 November 16, 2010 by mojofat
Actually, it happened just 10 years ago...you know, right before Bush was elected.

What will Sweden do with their budget surplus? Cut taxes? Ramp up the military?
23:33 November 16, 2010 by randyt
So Sweden will balance the budget this year and have a surplus next. They have a positive trade balance. They provide healthcare for all their citizens. Even poor children have access to higher education. The keep their military at home for the most part. And I suspect they are not alone if one looks at Norway and Denmark. Could it be we Americans should look at their systems of government and just see if we could adapt some of their policies for our folks.
23:53 November 16, 2010 by Swedesmith
If the U.S. government stopped every government program next year (including the military budget) except for Social Security, Medicare and Medicade....it still would not be able to balance the budget at the current tax rate.

There are a lot of good people here, who have worked hard their whole lives, who are being led down the garden path by our mis-leaders. It's a shame.

Again, good for Sweden to follow a more prudent course. Keep it up.
05:32 November 18, 2010 by opokuwilliams
The Swedish economists, the best in the world!!

Congratulation and long live Sweden!!!

If in the midst of the deepest economic recession since i was born and the Swedish economists have led the royal Swedish economy to have a surplus balance, then Sweden has the best economists in the world.

Sweden the best in the EU! Sweden the best in the world!!
14:31 November 18, 2010 by tigger007
well it's not that hard to provide health care for 8million or so people and i wouldn't say Swedish economists, the best in the world!!. it's all about morals and responsibility. when you have a small economy you have to keep track of all things going on. look what happen in island when it failed! when you have a BIG economy like the usa you can take bigger risk and if things go wrong you can take big hits. i see this is a pro swedish report and i guess every dog has it's day.


sweden best in the world! i beg to differ!
06:00 November 19, 2010 by porksteak
tigger007. Well it is hard to provide for 8 million when that is your population. It's proportional. We have a larger population but a lot more land, resources, etc. We have 300 million and we can be doing a lot better.

Good for Sweden pulling that off in the middle of a global recession.
10:04 December 2, 2010 by ROssN
The federal deficit is out of control, and President Obama's next idea to regain solid financial footing is to put a two-year government pay lock-up into impact. Reports indicate that such a fiscal move would slash the federal debt by $28 billion within 5 years and $60 billion within a decade. The federal pay lock-up would affect all civilian government employees, but not military employees. This is one step toward keeping our country from having to take out a personal loan to stay alive.
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