Article from Ministry of Finance

The Budget for 2018 in five minutes


Building our society – investing for the future.
On 20 September 2017, the Government presented its proposed budget for 2018 to the Riksdag.

"Sweden and the Swedish economy are in a strong position. Deficits have been turned into substantial surpluses. This new economic situation will be used to strengthen economic equality and combat unemployment. The society we are building together will be made future-proof. In this way we create confidence in the future, hope and security," says Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson.

Swedish economy is strong

  • The growth rate in Sweden is among the highest in Europe.
  • The employment rate is rising rapidly and is now the highest in 25 years – the highest ever measured in the EU.
  • Unemployment is falling and is expected to be under 6 per cent next year.
  • Public finances – i.e. municipalities, the pension system and central government finances – are strong and have shown a surplus every year since the Government took office. They are expected to continue to show a surplus over the next few years.
  • The Central government debt has decreased and, as a percentage of GDP, is back on the same level as the late 1970s.

Everyone must benefit from the strength of the economy

Sweden's new economic strength will benefit everyone, while the Government is also able to pay off national debt. This new economic situation will be used to strengthen economic equality and combat unemployment. In the autumn budget, the Government is therefore proposing reforms amounting to SEK 43.8 billion for next year.

Reforms and financing
SEK billion
More people in work 7.3 10.1 11.4
Sweden will have equitable knowledge-based education 2.4 4.6 7.0
Sweden will be a fossil-free welfare nation 5.0 7.9 10.0
Welfare system must be strengthened 7.8 13.6 18.9
Sweden’s economic strength to benefit everyone 11.9 18.5 22.9
Sweden must be secure 6.7 8.3 9.7
Other reforms 2.7 1.9 2.0
Total reforms 43.8 64.8 81.7
Total financing 3.4 4.9 8.8

Budget proposal in figures

Illustration: Ministry of Finance/Government Offices

Outcomes of Government policies

  • Growth in Sweden in 0.5 percentage points higher per year
  • Employment rate in Sweden the highest for 25 years and 200 000 more people go to work
  • More teachers and smaller classes – 20 000 more staff in schools
  • More than 1 000 new local climate projects expected to contribute to reduced carbon dioxide emissions
  • Sweden ranked as a leader in climate adaptation work

Next step – Riksdag processing of the draft budget

When the Government has presented its draft budget, the Riksdag's processing begins. The Riksdag considers the draft budget in two different steps:

Step 1: First, the Riksdag adopts the guidelines for economic policy and the economic framework of the central government budget. The decision on the economic framework – known as expenditure frameworks – guides the continued processing in the Riksdag, as the expenditure frameworks cannot be exceeded. This first decision by the Riksdag is usually referred to as the framework decision.

Step 2: In the second step, the Riksdag takes a position on allocating expenditure in each individual expenditure area; in other words how much money different activities will receive. Processing of the Budget Bill is complete when the Riksdag has taken a position on the proposals for all 27 expenditure areas. The Riksdag then finalises the central government budget.

Facts about the Budget Bill

The Government’s draft budget is collected in the Budget Bill, which contains:
• the Government’s plan for the economy (budget statement)
• an assessment of the outlook for the Swedish economy and public sector finances
• the Government’s proposals on allocating central government expenditure
• an estimate of expected central government revenue in the next few years