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Why this month is crucial for your finances in Sweden

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Why this month is crucial for your finances in Sweden
What dates do you need to be aware of for your personal finances this month? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

April brings with it probable changes to key interest rates, a spring amendment budget and tax rebates. How else could your finances be affected this month?


Key interest rate announcement

The most important date for your financial calendar this month if you own a home or a bostadsrätt in Sweden is April 26th, the date of the Swedish Central Bank's next key interest rate announcement.

It's not yet clear what the bank will announce, but most banks seem to be in agreement, predicting that the Riksbank will further raise key interest rates at the April meeting.

The SBAB bank predicted on March 24th a hike of 0.5 percentage points, to a total of 3.5 percent, while Handelsbanken predicted a hike of 0.75 percentage points in its report released two days earlier. 

A lot has changed on the financial markets since then which could affect the decision made at the end of April, such as the buyout of struggling Swiss bank Credit Suisse by rival bank UBS and announcements by supermarket chain Lidl to lower and freeze prices in its Swedish supermarkets, which spurred market leaders Ica as well as fellow supermarket chain Coop to announce plans to do the same on March 27th.

Swedbank on April 4th also predicted a hike of 0.5 percentage points, followed by another 0.5 hike in June.

A rising interest rate will have a knock-on effect on mortgage rates. Swedbank believes that variable mortgage rates will rise to around 4.5 percent by the summer.

Inflation report for March

Inflation figures for March will be released on April 14th at 8am, with high figures making a more hawkish key interest rate hike more likely.

Last month, inflation according to the consumer price index reached 12 percent, an increase on the 11.7 percent reported in January.


In February, rising food prices and property costs pushed up the inflation figures, with cheaper energy prices compensating slightly for this to bring figures down somewhat.

Decisions by major supermarkets to freeze or lower the price of groceries are unlikely to have much of an effect on inflation figures for March, as the price cuts at Lidl and Coop supermarkets came into force at the end of the month, with Ica's price cuts only applying after Easter on April 11th.

Property costs are also likely to have remained at high levels in March, as mortgage holders with three-month variable mortgages had their interest rates renegotiated following February's key interest rate hike to 3 percent.

Despite this, energy prices in March remained lower than in the latter half of 2022, so this could help dampen inflation figures when they are announced in mid-April.


Spring amendment budget

The spring amendment budget (vårändringsbudgeten) is usually mainly used to tweak or add bits and pieces to Sweden’s main annual budget, which was presented in autumn 2022. This year's spring amendment budget will be submitted to parliament on April 17th, and the government has already released some information about what will be included.

These include an extra 50 million kronor to the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) to combat increased unemployment, a proposal to raise the amount of housing benefit on offer to families with low incomes from 1,325 kronor to 2,100 kronor, as well as extend the current date of expiry from June 2023 to December 31st 2023, and an extra 10 million kronor to the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) to increase its analysis of the state of competition and price developments in certain sectors.

It's not yet clear what else will be included in the amendment budget, but we'll be looking at how it could affect your finances here at The Local, so keep an eye out for that.

Tax rebate

Those who approved their tax declarations for 2022 digitally by March 30th with no alterations should have got any tax rebate due to them paid out on April 5th or 6th.

If you opt to receive a paper declaration, the Tax Agency advises that you put this in the post by April 26th, at the latest, to make sure it arrives by the May 2nd deadline.


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