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Excessive Deficit Procedure 2020

General government finance deficit at SEK 141 billion in 2020

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2021-09-30 9.30

In 2020, general government net lending/net borrowing amounted to a deficit of SEK 141 billion and the consolidated gross debt amounted to SEK 1 974 billion. The size of the deficit in relation to GDP means that Sweden met the EU convergence requirements. Compared with 2019, general government finances were weakened by SEK 169 billion.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on general government finances in 2020. The general government finance deficit corresponded to 2.8 percent of GDP in 2020, compared with a surplus of 0.6 percent in 2019. The vast majority of support related to the COVID-19 pandemic was financed by central government. This led to a central government deficit of SEK 143 billion, a considerable decrease compared with 2019.

A large proportion of the support consisted of grants to local government. Local government consequently reported a surplus of SEK 13 billion in 2020. Social security funds noted a deficit of SEK 10 billion in 2020, mainly due to receipt of lower dividends.

General government gross debt increased

General government consolidated gross debt increased by SEK 211 billion between 2019 and 2020. In the same period, GDP in current prices decreased by SEK 66 billion. Therefore, the debt in relation to GDP increased from 34.9 percent in 2019 to 39.6 percent in 2020.

Central government debt increased by SEK 176 billion, local government debt increased by SEK 35 billion, and social security fund debt increased by SEK 1 billion. Central government consolidated gross debt in relation to GDP amounted to 28.8 percent at the end of 2020.

EU convergence requirements

Under the EU convergence requirements, the government deficit must not exceed 3 percent of GDP and gross debt must not exceed 60 percent of GDP. Due to the risk of severe economic impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, a general escape clause to the Stability and Growth Pact has been activated. This exception entails that the deadline by which a Member State is to have undertaken corrective measures to realign to the criteria, typically a year, can be extended. However, in the face of the pandemic, Sweden has met the EU convergence requirements.

Net lending/borrowing has been revised for the years from 2001 onwards due to a limited benchmark revision. Consolidated gross debt has been revised for the years from 2011 and onwards.

The calculations for the Excessive Deficit Procedure are submitted by Statistics Sweden to Eurostat in accordance with the EU Stability and Growth Pact under Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009, as amended by No 679/2010 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 220/2014. The figures reported will be audited by Eurostat and may be revised during this process. In this event, revised estimates will be published on 21 October by both Statistics Sweden and Eurostat.

More information about the Excessive Deficit Procedure, as well as government finances in general, is available on Eurostat’s website Government finance statistics (Eurostat).

Comparison with ordinary financial accounts

Calculations of convergence requirements are somewhat different from the ordinary compilations in the financial accounts. For example, the gross debt is calculated at a nominal value, because this value must be paid on maturity. In the financial accounts valuation, gross debt is calculated at market value. The gross debt comprises only certain financial instruments, such as currency, deposits, debt securities and loans. The financial accounts also comprise equity and investment fund shares or units, other accounts receivable/payable, financial derivatives and occupational pensions.

Government net lending and borrowing and gross debt according to the EU convergence criteria
SEK billions 2017 2018 2019 2020
GDP 4 625.1 4 828.3 5 049.6 4 983.4
Net lending/borrowing 65.8 39.5 28.5 ‑140.6
Percentage of GDP (%) 1.4 0.8 0.6 ‑2.8
Gross debt 1 883.8 1 878.6 1 762.2 1 973.6
Percentage of GDP (%) 40.7 38.9 34.9 39.6

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On 2022-03-31 at 08:00.

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

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, National Accounts

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Caroline Ahlstrand

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