‘Going strong’: Sweden upgrades growth forecasts

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Stronger than expected economic growth in Sweden has shown “the Swedish model can continue to deliver”, the country’s finance minister said as the government upgraded its growth forecasts for the next two years.

The finance ministry expects the economy to expand by 2.6 per cent this year and a further 2.1 per cent in 2018, up from growth forecasts of 2.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent in December.

Magdalena Andersson of the ruling social democrats said the economy is “going strong”, and said the government expects to succeed in generating a budget surplus every year of the current parliament from 2015 through to the next general election in 2018.

Capital investment, net exports and business productivity growth will all be higher than previously expected, though forecasts for growth in household consumption were cut.

The government’s positivity follows similarly optimistic updates from independent economists. SEB upgraded its growth forecasts for Sweden earlier this year, while economists at Nordea noted last month that the economy was looking “surprisingly strong”.

Despite the economy’s strength, however, few are expecting any impending changes to the central bank’s record-low interest rates and monetary stimulus policies. The Riksbank has remained singularly focused on boosting Sweden’s stubbornly low inflation rate, though one of its deputy governors admitted recently that it should begin considering when to “ease up on the accelerator“.

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