Large surplus for Swedish central government in 2017

Press release 9 January 2018

Swedish central government payments resulted in a surplus of SEK 61.8 billion in 2017. The Debt Office's forecast in October was a surplus of SEK 28.3 billion. The difference is mainly explained by higher tax income than calculated.

The Swedish central government showed a budget surplus of SEK 61.8 billion in 2017, compared with a surplus of SEK 85.3 billion in 2016. A strong economy led to continued high tax incomes in 2017. Among other things, rising employment and high housing investment contributed to the development. Declining social insurance expenditures and an otherwise moderate development of expenditures also contributed to the surplus. The surplus decreased in 2017 compared with 2016, partly due to the fact that tax incomes in 2016 were affected by excess deposits in tax accounts.

Central government debt amounted to SEK 1,328 billion at the end of December, which was SEK 19 billion lower than in December 2016.

Deficit for Swedish central government in December

Swedish central government payments resulted in a deficit of SEK 69.6 billion in December. The Debt Office’s forecast was a deficit of SEK 92.3 billion.

Tax income was approximately SEK 18 billion higher than forecast. This was mainly due to higher payments of supplementary taxes. The delay of statistics for tax revenue is quite long, but the deviation is likely to be partly explained by a stronger development of tax base development than expected. At the same time, there are no such large differences in the taxes debited preliminarily. It is also likely that the payments of taxes have been affected more by the unusual interest rate level than estimated. In that case it is about shifting of cash flows over time and mainly to tax payments occurring earlier than before.

The Debt Office's net lending to government agencies was SEK 3.3 billion lower than forecast. This was primarily due to lower lending to the Swedish pension agency.

Interest payments on central government debt were SEK 0.4 billion lower than calculated.

The outcome for January will be published on 7 February at 9.30 a.m.


Tord Arvidsson, Analyst +46 (0)8 613 47 53

Robert Sennerdal, Press Secretary, +46 (0)8 613 47 01

Central government net borrowing requirement1(SEK million)
1 The net borrowing requirement corresponds to the budget balance with opposite sign.
2 Sum of monthly forecast deviations since last forecast (October 2017).
3 Net of the state's primary income and expenditure excluding net lending to agencies.    
4The outcome is preliminary and may be revised in connection with the Debt Office’s annual accounts.
 Outcome Dec.Forecast Dec.Deviation Dec.Acc.    Dev2Outcome 12-month

Net borrowing requirement

69 581

92 251

-22 671

-33 463

-61 780

Primary borrowing requirement excl. net lending3

35 141

54 093

-18 952

-28 702

-69 186

Net lending to agencies etc.

28 049

31 396

-3 348

-3 401

-2 902

Interest payments on central government debt

6 391

6 762


-1 359

10 308

  - Interest on loans in SEK

7 967

7 372



13 158

  - Interest on loans in foreign currency






  - Realised currency gains and losses

-1 589




-1 947

 Please refer to the Debt Office’s annual report 2017 for the final annual outcome. 

More data on the borrowing requirement and government debt

The monthly outcome of the central government net borrowing requirement is included in the official statistics of Sweden.

Sweden's Central Government Debt December 2017