Large surplus for Swedish central government in 2018

Stockholm, SWEDEN

Swedish central government payments resulted in a surplus of SEK 80.0 billion in 2018. The Debt Office's forecast in October was a surplus of SEK 95.8 billion. The difference is mainly explained by lower tax income than calculated and higher net lending to government agencies than expected.

The Swedish central government showed a budget surplus of SEK 80.0 billion in 2018, compared with a surplus of SEK 61.8 billion in 2017. A strong economy and labour market led to strong tax incomes in 2018 from wages, consumption and company profits. The tax incomes in 2018 continued to be affected by excess deposits in tax accounts. The difference between the October forecast and the actual surplus can be explained by lower tax incomes as a result of a higher outflow from the tax accounts than expected. In addition, the net lending to government agencies was higher than expected.

Central government debt amounted to SEK 1,262 billion at the end of December, which was SEK 66 billion lower than in December 2017.

Deficit for Swedish central government in December

Swedish central government payments resulted in a deficit of SEK 78.3 billion in December. The Debt Office's forecast was a deficit of SEK 79.0 billion. The tax incomes were approximately SEK 1 billion lower than expected.

The Debt Office's net lending to government agencies was in line with the forecast. The Swedish Export Credit Agency completed the transfer of SEK 4.7 billion from a foreign currency account in a bank to an account in the Swedish National Debt Office in December. The transfer was approximately SEK 2 billion higher than the December forecast which was based on the transfer taking place during both November and December. The higher net borrowing was counteracted by higher net lending to the Swedish Pensions Agency.

Interest payments on central government debt were SEK 0.2 billion lower than calculated.

The outcome for January will be published on 7 February at 9.30 a.m.


Sofia Nilsson, Economist, +46 (0)8 613 47 34
Press Secretary, +46 (0)8 613 47 01

Central government net borrowing requirement1 (SEK million)  
  Outcome December Forecast December Deviation December Acc.  Dev2 Outcome 12-month
Net borrowing requirement 78 330 79 047 -717 15 713 -80 037
Primary balance3 34 999 35 528 -529 12 737 -97 921
Net lending to agencies etc.4 35 293 35 310 -17 2 806 4 455
Interest payments on central government debt 8 037 8 209 -172 170 13 428
  - Interest on loans in SEK 8 198 8 221 -23 293 13 012
  - Interest on loans in foreign currency -24 16 -40 -17 -376
  - Realised currency gains and losses -137 -28 -109 -106 792
1 The net borrowing requirement corresponds to the budget balance with opposite sign.
2 Sum of monthly forecast deviations since last forecast (October 2018).
3 Net of the state's primary expenditure and income.
4 The net of government agencies etc. deposits and loans in the state's internal bank. The net lending includes
  both current government operations and temporary occurrences which can be decided on short notice. The net
  lending affects the net borrowing requirement and central government debt, but are not covered by the
  Central government expenditure ceiling.
5 The outcome is preliminary and may be revised in connection with the Debt Office's annual accounts.
Please refer to the Debt Office's annual report 2018 for the final annual outcome.

More data on the borrowing requirement and government debt:

The monthly outcome of the central government net borrowing requirement is included in the official statistics of Sweden.


Sweden's Central Government Debt December 2018