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Financial Accounts fourth quarter 2022

Households sold off assets to finance increased costs

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2023-03-16 8.00

In the fourth quarter of 2022, households sold liquid financial assets in line with a continued decline in real wages. In the fourth quarter, non-financial corporations financed themselves via issuances of debt securities to a greater extent than in the previous quarters of 2022.

There are several ways to define savings, which capture different aspects of household behavior. A recurring measure in financial accounts has been financial saving, which is a broad definition of household savings that includes all financial instruments, including household savings in occupational pension and net claims on central government. A saving measure that better captures household behaviour in the short run is household savings in liquid assets: deposits, debt securities, tenant-owned apartments, private insurance savings, and shares and fund units. This can be referred to as household liquid savings.

In 2020 and 2021, household liquid savings have been at high levels, SEK 130 billion and SEK 164 billion, respectively. Households have been able to save in a time of low interest rates and see their net wealth rise in line with rising asset prices. In 2022, household purchasing power has weakened in a rising inflationary environment where incomes have not grown at the same rate as expenditures. On a year-on-year basis, real wages fell by 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, while savings in liquid assets declined in order to finance rising costs. Households' liquid savings amounted to SEK 54 billion in 2022 and for the fourth quarter, the savings were negative, landing at SEK -19 billion. This means that households spent more than they earned and therefore needed to use their assets. The negative liquid savings are mainly reflected in the financial assets deposits, listed shares, fund units and private insurance savings, where the total net withdrawals amounted to SEK 30 billion.

Change in household liquid savings and real wage development, SEK billions and percent


Liquid savings for the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021. The graph above shows the relationship between changes in household liquid savings and real wage developments. Both have declined in 2022.

This is particularly evident in the development of the last fourth quarters, see the graph below.

Change in household liquid savings and real wage development, fourth quarter, SEK billions and percent


The growth rate of loans continued to decline

The annual growth rate of household loans continued to decline during the quarter and  amounted to 3.7 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, the lowest measured growth rate in the time series. New borrowings, newly taken loans minus amortized loans, were SEK 19 billion for the fourth quarter. This is a decrease of  SEK 15 billion compared to the previous quarter and SEK 70 billion compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021.

Household loans, transactions and annual growth rate, SEK billions and percent


Non-financial corporations re-financed themselves through debt securities

In the fourth quarter of 2022, non-financial corporations financed themselves via debt securities to a greater extent than in previous quarters of the year, despite a continued high interest rate environment. Net emissions of debt securites,  new emissions minus maturity and repurchase, amounted to SEK 57 billion. It is the largest financing via debt securities since the second quarter of 2019.  Loan financing decreased during the quarter compared to the high levels seen in the previous four quarters.  Loan financing remained the largest form of financing and the total loans amounted to  SEK  3,898  billion, compared to SEK 1,580 billion of debt securities.

Non-financial corporations financing via debt securities and loans, transactions and balance, SEK billions


Central government debt ratio continued to fall

At the end of 2022, the market-valued government debt amounted to SEK 2,245 billion.

Market-valued central government debt, balance, SEK billions and central government debt ratio, percent


Central government savings for the fourth quarter of 2022 were negative and the deficit amounted to SEK 21 billion. Compared with the previous quarter, this was a decrease of SEK 19 billion.  Despite that, and in line with the previous quarter, the central government debt ratio, the market-valued government debt divided by GDP at current prices, continues to fall. At the end of the fourth quarter, the debt ratio  was 38 percent, which is the lowest debt ratio since the start of the time series from 1996Q1.


When calculating the fourth quarter of 2022, annual and quarterly statistics have been revised for the period 2017Q1-2022Q3. The foreign sector has been revised as of the first quarter of 2019 with new information from the Balance of Payments.

Definitions and explanations

The financial accounts aim to provide information about financial assets and liabilities, as well as about changes in financial savings and wealth for various economic sectors.

In the statistical news, we refer to the Savings Barometer and differences between household reported savings compared to financial accounts, specifically the item tax accruals. The Quality Declaration of the Savings Barometer reads: "The revisions to the tax accruals between the Savings Barometer and the Financial Accounts can be significant for individual quarters, which may affect the interpretation of the outcome between the Savings Barometer and the Financial Accounts".

The financial accounts’ financial savings are calculated as the difference between transactions in financial assets and transactions in liabilities. In the non-financial sector accounts which, like the financial accounts, form part of the National Accounts, financial savings are calculated as the difference between income and costs. However, the financial accounts and non-financial sector accounts are based on different sources, which causes disparities between the products.

In the Financial Accounts, the government debt is calculated differently from the government debt metric that is most frequently reported and which is calculated according to the convergence criteria – the ‘Maastricht debt’. The definition of the Maastricht debt does not include all financial instruments, the instruments are presented in nominal value and the liabilities for government administration are consolidated. The government debt in the Financial Accounts is unconsolidated and includes all financial instruments at market value.

In addition to the government agencies, the government administration sector also includes certain state foundations and state-owned companies. Government administration does not include entities within the retirement pension system. Instead, they make up the social security funds sector. Municipal administration includes primary municipal authorities, regional authorities (formerly county council authorities), municipal associations and certain municipal foundations and certain municipally or regionally owned companies.

Real wage development is taken from the wage statistics of the Swedish National Mediation Office, which uses data from Statistics Sweden. Real wages are derived from nominal wages deflated by CPI. The values in this statistical news are the average of the monthly values that make up each quarter.

Further information: The National Wealth

The National Wealth, which contains annual data on non-financial and financial assets, is also published in connection with the publication of the Financial Accounts. Financial assets and liabilities are collected from the Financial Accounts and are thus consistent with the values published in the Financial Accounts.

For further information, see:

Nationalförmögenheten och nationella balansräkningar (in Swedish) (pdf)

Statistical database

Next publishing will be

The next statistical news in this series is scheduled for publishing on 2023-06-15 at 08.00

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency

Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority

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103 97 Stockholm


Statistics Sweden


Nicolai Nystrand

+46 10 479 45 45

Filip Grundberg

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Jonas Hallberg

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