Central government deficit of SEK 221 billion in 2020

Central government deficit of SEK 221 billion in 2020

Swedish central government payments, as well as the central government budget balance, resulted in a deficit of SEK 221 billion in 2020. The Debt Office's forecast from October was a deficit of SEK 256 billion.

The corona pandemic had large negative effects on the economic development in 2020. The economic downturn resulted in lower tax income and higher expenditure for the central government. In addition, fiscal policy measures such as the short-time work allowance were implemented to counteract the effects of the pandemic on the Swedish economy. After four years of surpluses, the central government budget balance turned into a deficit in 2020. The deficit in 2020 was 221 billion SEK, the corresponding figure in 2019 was a surplus of 112 billion SEK.

Central government debt amounted to SEK 1,280 billion at the end of December, which was SEK 168 billion higher than in December 2019.

Deficit for central government in December

Swedish central government payments resulted in a deficit of SEK 125.9 billion in December. The Debt Office's forecast was a deficit of SEK 131.9 billion. This was mainly due to tax income being approximately SEK 7 billion higher than estimated, which was caused by higher supplementary tax payments than expected. In total during the period October to December, tax income were approximately SEK 22 billion higher than forecasted. This was mainly due to higher supplementary tax payments.

The Debt Office’s net lending to government agencies etc. was SEK 1.7 billion higher than forecasted in December. This is mainly due to higher lending to some agencies such as the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV)

Interest payments on central government debt were SEK 2.7 billion lower than forecasted.

The outcome for January will be published on 5 February at 9.30 a.m.

Budget balance and central government net borrowing requirement1 (SEK million)  
  Outcome Dec. Forecast Dec. Deviation Dec. Acc.    Dev2 Outcome 12-month
Budget balance -125 873 -131 906 6 033 35 539 -220 588
Net borrowing requirement 125 873 131 906 -6 033 -35 539 220 588
Primary balance3 67 673 72 701 -5 028 -32 297 173 403
Net lending to agencies etc.4 43 924 42 252 1 672 -1 980 27 734
Interest payments on central government debt 14 276 16 952 -2 676 -1 263 19 451
  - Interest on loans in SEK 14 320 16 973 -2 654 -380 18 010
  - Interest on loans in foreign currency -52 -18 -34 -151 -1 022
  - Realised currency gains and losses 8 -3 12 -731 2 464
1 The net borrowing requiremet corresponds to the budget balance with opposite sign.
2 Sum of monthly forecast deviations since last forecast (October 2020).
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 curr ent 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 are not covered by the Central government expenditure ceiling.The outcome is preliminary and may be revised in connection with the Debt Office’s annual accounts. Please refer to the Debt Office’s annual report 2020 for the final annual outcome.


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

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.


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