More older people and children in the coming decade means increased needs for schools, health and social care

Today the Ministry of Finance presents the latest forecast for the economy and public finances, along with an analysis of future demographic needs. By 2025 the number of children and older people in Sweden will have increased significantly, resulting in a greater need for public welfare services. Resources for these services will also increase. The forecast for net lending has been revised sharply upwards both for this year and for the coming years.

"Our tight fiscal policy has put us in a new economic position. We will use this strong position to employ health and social care professionals, preschool staff, teachers and police officers," says Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson.

Both children and older people are fast-growing groups; by 2025 there will be 300 000 more children (up to 19 years) and 300 000 more people over the age of 70. The growing number of children is mainly due to the large cohorts born around 1990 reaching child-bearing age. Over the last two decades, average life expectancy has increased by more than three years and is expected to continue to increase by more than one year by 2025. This is a very positive trend, but children and older people are also those who most need public services such as health care, schools and social services.

In 2017, the Government will invest almost SEK 30 billion more in welfare compared with 2014. For the coming year, the Government has so far presented a further SEK 5 billion that will go to health care, schools and social services.

"Although we have invested substantially in welfare services, we need to invest even more. I will always stand up to protect Swedish welfare. And the scope exists," says Ms Andersson.

Since the Spring Fiscal Policy Bill, the forecast for net lending has been revised upwards. With an upward revision of SEK 25 billion, this year's net lending remains at the same level as in 2016 and in line with the surplus target of 1 per cent of GDP. In total for the 2017–2020 forecast period, net lending has been revised upwards by SEK 85 billion. This revision is due to both higher revenues, mainly from capital and value added tax, and lower expenditure.

Unemployment is expected to fall further next year to 6.3 per cent and the employment rate has been revised upwards for all age groups. For the 20–64 age group, the employment rate is now at its highest level since 1992. The proportion of people dependent on sickness insurance, disability pension, unemployment insurance, introduction benefits or income support is the lowest since the start of the 1990s.

The forecast shows a growth rate of 2.5 per cent this year. This is a higher rate than in most comparable countries. Growth is broad-based, with a continued steady increase in household consumption, investment and exports.

Contact

Gösta Brunnander
Press Secretary to Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile 072-544 28 66
email to Gösta Brunnander, via senior registry clerk
Isabel Lundin
Press Secretary to Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile 076-296 46 38
email to Isabel Lundin, via senior registry clerk
Jesper Hansson
Head of the Economic Affairs Department
Mobile +46 70 363 86 43
email to Jesper Hansson, via senior registry clerk
Thomas G Pettersson
Head of the Division for Public Finances
Phone + 46 73 985 08 37
email to Thomas G Pettersson, via senior registry clerk