Deficit for Swedish central government in March 2023

Press release 11 April 2023

Swedish central government payments resulted in a deficit of SEK 12.9 billion in March. The Debt Office's forecast was a deficit of SEK 22.7 billion. The deficit being less than expected is primarily due to higher tax income than forecast. The higher tax income was partly offset by payments to government agencies being higher than expected.

The primary balance was SEK 7.3 billion higher than the forecast. Tax income was approximately SEK 17 billion higher than calculated, mainly due to higher supplementary tax, such as payments to cover future taxes, and higher income from corporate tax. The higher tax income was partly counteracted by payments from a number of government agencies, among those the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency and the Swedish Pensions Agency, being higher than expected.

Furthermore, the primary balance was also affected by other factors. The primary balance was strengthened by around SEK 10 billion when funds from The Swedish Board of Student Finance’s liquidated credit reserve was transferred to the central government budget. The Debt Office expected this liquidation to take place later this year. At the same time, the liquidation of the credit reserve increased the Debt Office’s net lending by the corresponding amount. This means that the transaction as a whole does not affect the budget balance.

Finally, the primary balance was weakened when approximately SEK 10 billion of the electricity price compensation to households in bidding zone 3 and 4 for the period October 2021 to September 2022 was paid out. The Debt Office had assumed that this payment would occur in February.  

The Debt Office’s net lending to government agencies etc. was SEK 3.8 billion lower than forecasted. This is due to the Debt Office having expected that the electricity price compensation to households in all bidding zones for the period November to December 2022 would be paid out in March. However, these payments have not yet been made, causing Svenska kraftnät’s deposits to be around SEK 10 billion higher than forecasted. Also net lending to among others the Swedish Pensions Agency and the Swedish Export Credit Agency was lower than expected.

These effects on net lending were counteracted by the above mentioned liquidation of the Swedish Board of Student Finance’s credit reserve, which reduced deposits by around SEK 10 billion.

Interest payments on the central government debt were SEK 1.3 billion higher than forecast.

For the twelve-month period up to the end of March 2023, central government payments resulted in a surplus of SEK 93.2 billion.

Central government debt amounted to SEK 1 059 billion at the end of March.

The outcome for April 2023 will be published on May 8, 2023 at 8.00 a.m.

The date for publishing a new forecast on the Swedish economy and central government borrowing is May 25.

Budget balance and central government net borrowing requirement [1] (SEK million)
 OutcomeForecastDev.Acc. Dev. [2]Outcome 12-month
Budget balance -12 928 -22 741 9 813 49 078 93 242
Net borrowing requirement [1] 12 928 22 741 -9 813 -49 078 -93 242
Primary balance [3] 5 482 12 790 -7 307 -42 750 -62 240
Net lending to agencies etc. [4] 3 316 7 113 -3 797 -7 357 -61 560
Interest payments on central government debt 4 130 2 838 1 292 1 030 30 557
- Interest on loans in SEK 2 791 1 464 1 328 1 761 19 546
- Interest on loans in foreign currency 232 184 48 -116 -238
- Realised currency gains and losses 1 106 1 190 -84 -615 11 248
[1] The net borrowing requirement corresponds to the budget balance with opposite sign.
[2] Sum of monthly forecast deviations since last forecast.
[3] Net of the state's primary expenditure and income.
[4] The net of government agencies etc. deposits and loans in the state’s internal bank. The net lending includes both current government operations and temporary occurrences   which can be decided on short notice. The net lending affects the net borrowing requirement and central government debt, but is not covered by the Central government expenditure ceiling.

Report: Sweden's Central Government Debt March 2023

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.

The Debt Office published their latest forecast on the Swedish economy and central government borrowing on February 23 2022: Forecast and analysis 2023:1

Press inquiries

Mats Lilja, press officer

The Debt Office's operations shall be characterized by an openness to the public and the media. The right of access to official business is a cornerstone of Swedish democracy.

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Mats Lilja, press officer
Press phone (office hours): +46(0)8-613 47 01, mobile +46(0)721-561 527
E-mail: Mats Lilja