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Excessive Deficit Procedure 2021

General government finance deficit at SEK 13 billion in 2021

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2022-03-31 8.00

In 2021, general government net lending/net borrowing amounted to a deficit of SEK 13 billion and the consolidated gross debt to SEK 1 974 billion. The size of the deficit in relation to GDP implies that Sweden did meet the EU convergence requirements. Compared with 2020, general government finances were improved by SEK 120 billion.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the general government finances of both 2020 and 2021. The general government finance deficit corresponded to 0.2 percent of GDP year 2021, compared to a deficit of 2.7 percent in 2020. The vast majority of Covid-19 related aid has been financed by the central government, leading to a central government deficit of SEK 50 billion.

A large portion of the aid consisted of grants to local governments. Local governments consequently reported a surplus of SEK 30 billion in 2021.

General government gross debt decreased

General government consolidated gross debt decreased by SEK 3 billion between 2020 and 2021. In the same period, GDP in current prices increased by SEK 394 billion. Therefore, the debt in relation to GDP decreased from 39.6 percent in 2020 to 36.7 percent in 2021.

Central government debt decreased by SEK 32 billion, local government debt increased by SEK 25 billion and social security fund debt increased by SEK 6 billion between 2020 and 2021. Central government consolidated gross debt in relation to GDP amounted to 24.9 percent at the end of 2021.

EU convergence requirements

According to the EU convergence requirements, the government deficit must not be more than 3 percent of GDP and gross debt must not exceed 60 percent in relation to GDP.

Net lending/Net borrowing has been revised for the years 2019 and 2020. Mainly as a result of updated taxes. Consolidated gross debt has been revised for the years from 2017.

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 April 22 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 2018 2019 2020 2021
GDP 4 828.3 5 049.6 4 987.3 5 381.3
Net lending/borrowing 39.5 30.5 ‑133.1 ‑12.9
Percentage of GDP (%) 0.8 0.6 ‑2.7 ‑0.2
Gross debt 1 878.7 1 762.2 1 976.9 1 973.9
Percentage of GDP (%) 38.9 34.9 39.6 36.7

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On 2022-09-30 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


Jonas Edblom

+46 10 479 41 97