The Swedish economy is expected to slow down markedly in 2012 in the wake of the European debt crisis. Given the risk of significantly weaker economic growth, the need remains for good safety margins in the public finances so as to continue to have the capacity to cushion the impact of a deeper crisis on jobs and welfare. Consequently, there will be limited scope for reforms in the budget for 2013. This scope should be used primarily for measures that prevent unemployment becoming persistent, strengthen the functioning of the economy, improve the financial position of vulnerable groups and strengthen welfare.
- Press release: A policy to promote jobs and welfare - the 2012 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill
- Read more about the Spring Fiscal Policy Bill 2012
- Summary: Economic and Budget Policy Guidelines
- Economic and Budget Policy Guidelines
- Government newsletter - For jobs and welfare - combating the crisis and creating better conditions
Anders Borg and Gunilla Carlsson present this year' World Bank report on gender equality as smart economics
On 31 January, Minister for Finance Anders Borg and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson are to present the World Development Report 2012 in Stockholm, together with the report' principle author, Dr Ana Revenga (World Bank).
The Government is to propose higher capital adequacy requirements for systemically important banks in an effort to strengthen the stability of the Swedish banking system and reduce the vulnerability of the Swedish economy. The proposal means that the banks are to have core Tier 1 capital equivalent to at least 10 per cent of risk-weighted assets in 2013 and 12 per cent of risk-weighted assets in 2015. Minister for Financial Markets Peter Norman will give a more detailed presentation at a press conference today.
The Riksdag set the framework for Sweden's state budget 2012 on 23 November. This first decision concerning the Budget Bill means that the Riksdag has adopted the Government's proposal for the direction of fiscal policy, estimated central government revenues and financial frameworks for the 27 expenditure areas.
The Riksdag considers the Government's budget proposal in two stages. In the first stage, the Riksdag takes a decision on the framework for the state budget and, in connection with this, an economic policy debate is held in the Riksdag. The next stage involves the Riksdag taking a decision on how expenditures are to be distributed in each individual expenditure area. This work continues until the end of December. The Budget Bill is finalised when the Riksdag has taken decisions on all 27 expenditure areas. The preliminary date for this is 20 December.
Financial Times has ranked Anders Borg as the best EU-finance minister 2011. The ranking is based on political ability, economic performance and credibility in the markets. Anders Borg gets the highest rank in all of the categories. In connection Financial Times has interviewed Anders Borg on the economic situation in Europe.
The Government has decided the guidelines for central government debt management. In these guidelines, the Government puts increased focus on robustness and the refinancing risk in debt management. Borrowing in long maturities will therefore increase. In the coming years the central government debt is expected to decline from about SEK 1 100 billion to about SEK 850 billion in 2015, but there is considerable uncertainty.
Every day on TV and in the papers we can see new reports about the debt crisis. Greece has serious problems, but so do other EU countries. Sweden is standing strong in these turbulent times, but there are undoubtedly a lot of people who are concerned about developments nonetheless. In this newsletter you can read more about the Government's view on these matters.
In a joint opinion piece published in the Financial Times on Wednesday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Minister for Finance Anders Borg write about the role of the banks, and state that a coordinated European approach is necessary to achieve financial stability.
"The European banking sector is under extreme stress. As fears grow about the sustainability of Greek public finances, banks with large exposures to Greek bonds are under increasing pressure. The situation is not beyond recourse, however. Through coordinated European and national policies, progress can and will be made."
The debt crisis and the situation in North Africa and the Horn of Africa will be in focus when Minister for Finance Anders Borg and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson take part in the World Bank and IMF annual meetings on 23-25 September in Washington.
With this year's budget, the Government is taking responsibility for Sweden in turbulent times. To offset the effects of the crisis, improve long-term job and growth prospects and strengthen welfare, the Government is proposing measures totalling SEK 15 billion in 2012 and SEK 17.3 billion in 2013. At the same time there are safety margins in the public finances to ensure that Sweden can manage even worse developments if the debt crisis is deep and protracted with considerable impact on the Swedish economy.