Economic Trends/Outlook in Sweden

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Economic Overview

The international financial crisis plunged Sweden into severe recession, as the country depends heavily on international trade. After contracting by -5.1% in 2009, Swedish economy recovered in 2010, with an estimated GDP growth of 4.4%, driven by household consumption and a resumption of international trade. The unfavorable international context suggests a slight groth in 2011.

In the context of a recovery, the government’s priority, announced as part of the 2011 Budget, is to again aim for full employment. The announced measures seek to combat exclusion, improve the education system and tamper the effects of the crisis by expanding high-quality welfare services. Monetary policy will remain expansionist.

Sweden has one of the highest standards of living in the world. However, unemployment has become its curse, with one of the highest rates in Europe (8.2% in 2010 according to the estimates).

Main Indicators 20092010201120122013
GDP (billions USD) 403.61455.85e544.72e591.54e629.95e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -5.35.5e3.8e3.5e3.4e
GDP per Capita (USD) 43,40448,875e58,228e63,045e66,937e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) 2.01.0e1.6e2.2e2.5e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 41.939.6e37.3e34.9e32.2e
Inflation Rate (%) 2.01.9e2.0e2.0e2.0e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 8.38.4e7.4e6.6e5.8e
Current Account (billions USD) 25.78e24.03e27.36e29.56e-
Current Account (in % of GDP) 6.4e5.4e5.8e5.9e-

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture represents less of 2% of the GDP. The main agricultural products are cereals, dairy products, meat, wood and potatoes. The country has a wealth of natural resources: forests, iron, lead, copper, zinc and hydroelectric energy.
The industrial sector contributes to slightly over a quarter of the GDP. It is dominated by groups such as Volvo, Saab, Ericsson, ABB, AstraZeneca, Electrolux, Ikea, H&M, etc. Sweden's main manufacturing activities are processing wood, paper, electronic equipment, industrial food processing, pharmaceutical products, etc. The new technologies and biotechnologies sectors are of significant importance in the economy.
The tertiary sector employs more than three quarters of the active workforce, it contributes more than 70% of the GDP, and is maintained by telecommunications and IT equipment

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 2.2 21.6 76.0
Value Added (in % of GDP) 1.7 25.1 73.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) 0.5 -14.3 -1.4

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Sweden, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Mostly free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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