Sweden's growth is being held back by a weak international economy in the wake of the financial and debt crisis. Despite this, the labour market has developed somewhat more strongly than expected. As a result of the continued weakness of the world economy exports are only gradually recovering, while households are continuing to increase their consumption. The growth rate will strengthen and unemployment decline slightly in 2014. At the same time, there is still uncertainty about the economic outlook. The risk of weaker growth continues to dominate, according to the Ministry of Finance's new forecast.
For many people, Christmas means spending more money on consumer goods than normal. But it is not always easy to know what your rights are as a consumer. The Government is working to ensure that consumers have good opportunities to benefit from what is on offer in various markets in the form of goods and services and to ensure good consumer protection - for purchases in Sweden and from companies in other countries.
"Nelson Mandela was a person who changed the world. He was deeply convinced of the equality between human beings and had an equally strong commitment and capacity for reconciliation. He chose reconciliation where others would have chosen revenge.
He created a new South Africa and gave people all over the world someone to look up to and a role model."
Foreign Ministers Radek Sikorski and Carl Bildt of Poland and Sweden made a joint statement on developments in Ukraine, on 1 December.
The most important issue for Sweden is jobs. Many young people today have difficulty entering the labour market, both in Sweden and in the rest of Europe. The Government is therefore focusing on more and broader paths to jobs for young people in order to bring about a smoother transition from school to work. Overall experience shows that a combination of work, training and coaching is a good way for young people to enter the labour market.
Maria Larsson, Nora D. Volkow, Håkan Leifman
21 November 2013
Maria Larsson, minister
10 December 2013
The Government wants to prevent the use of cannabis.On 20-21 November the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs hosted an international research conference in Stockholm. The aim was to present research from Sweden and other countries on cannabis and its impact on human health.
2014 is the first year that Sweden is holding both a European election and a general election - a super election year. The Government is conducting a number of initiatives ahead of the super election year in order to increase voter turn-out. Read more about this in the Government newsletter.
Today the Government adopted guidelines for the management of the central government debt. The direction of debt policy remains unchanged. The debt shares and interest rate refixing periods for central government debt remain unchanged.
On Thursday 7 November, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt received Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who will be visiting Sweden. Their agenda for the discussions includes the bilateral relations between Turkey and Sweden, Turkey's reform efforts and negotiations on EU membership. Several current foreign policy issues, including the situation in Syria, will also be discussed.
Several studies show that reading skills have deteriorated among young people in Sweden. Interest in reading among young people has also decreased. In order to reverse the trend and strengthen children's reading skills and interest in reading, the Government is implementing a series of initiatives under the banner 'Reading for life'.