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Excessive Deficit Procedure 2021

General government finances had a deficit of SEK 5 billion in 2021

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2022-09-30 8.00

In 2021, general government net lending/net borrowing amounted to a deficit of SEK 5 billion and the consolidated gross debt amounted to SEK 1 981 billion. The size of the deficit in relation to GDP implies that Sweden meets the EU convergence requirements. Compared with 2020, general government finances were improved by SEK 135 billion.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the general government finances, for both 2020 and 2021. The general government finance deficit corresponded to 0.1 percent of GDP in year 2021 which can be compared to a deficit of 2.8 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 48 billion.

A large portion of the aid consisted of grants to local governments. Local governments therefore reported a surplus of SEK 37 billion in 2021, compared to a surplus of SEK 11 billion in 2020.

General government gross debt decreased

In 2021 the general government consolidated gross debt decreased by SEK 10 billion compared to the previous year. In the same period, GDP in current prices increased by SEK 413 billion. Thus, the debt in relation to GDP decreased from 39.5 percent in 2020 to 36.3 percent in 2021.

Between these years the central government debt decreased by SEK 32 billion, local government debt increased by SEK 16 billion while the debt of social security funds increased by SEK 6 billion. Central government consolidated gross debt in relation to GDP amounted to 24.5 percent at the end of 2021.

EU convergence requirements

According to the EU convergence requirements, the government deficit cannot be higher than 3 percent of GDP and gross debt is not allowed to be more than 60 percent of GDP.

Net lending/Net borrowing has been revised from year 2005 and forward due to review of data and methods after discussion with the EU’s statistical authority Eurostat. For the years 2020 and 2021, the Net lending/Net borrowing has been revised due to updated taxes. Consolidated gross debt has been revised from 2017. It is primarily the debt of local government that has been revised.

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 October 21 by both Statistics Sweden and Eurostat.

More information about the Excessive Deficit Procedure, as well as government finances in general, is available on 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 nominal value which is the amount that must be paid on maturity. In the financial accounts, gross debt is calculated at market value. The gross debt comprises only certain financial instruments such as currency, deposits, debt securities and loans while the financial accounts also include 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 5 038.5 5 451.8
Net lending/borrowing 37.8 28.5 ‑139.6 ‑4.8
Percentage of GDP (%) 0.8 0.6 ‑2.8 ‑0.1
Gross debt 1 892.3 1 777.2 1 990.8 1 980.7
Percentage of GDP (%) 39.2 35.2 39.5 36.3

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On 2023-03-31 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


Camilla Gylfe

+46 10 479 41 71