Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

Stockholm 2019

Monteliusvägen, Stockholm, Sweden (Micael Widell, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


The Swedish economy is operating close to full capacity, with robust growth and strong employment, but uncertainties linked to the global economy shroud the outlook. Policy should aim to prolong the expansion and ensure that economic success continues to promote inclusiveness, well-being and social cohesion, according to a new report from the OECD.The latest OECD Economic Survey of Sweden looks at the factors behind the country’s solid economic performance, as well as the policies needed to face current and future challenges. The Survey projects growth of 1.6% this year and 1.7% in 2020.

The Survey, presented in Stockholm by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, highlights the importance of policies for maintaining economic resilience, addressing structural weaknesses and preparing the workforce for the jobs of the future.“The Swedish economy is thriving, but nevertheless dependent on the global economy’s continued expansion and openness,” Mr Gurría said. “Today’s prosperity is testimony to the benefits of the unique Swedish combination of openness and inclusiveness. Every effort must be made to ensure that the policy framework is maintained, and translates into decent work, better quality jobs and high levels of well-being for all.” Read the full speech.
The Survey shows how Sweden’s monetary and fiscal policies have been supportive of growth. Government budget surpluses, which reflect the strength of the economy, should be maintained, with fiscal space used to stimulate in the event of a downturn, the Survey said.
Addressing structural weaknesses could enhance productivity and economic performance, the Survey said. Housing prices have stabilised, but structural weaknesses remain, with potential adverse effects on financial and economic stability, as well as on mobility and well-being.

Property taxation should be reformed, in particular phasing out mortgage interest deductibility. Land-use planning procedures need to be simplified, balancing economic, environmental and social considerations. Rental regulations should be eased to incentivise rental housing supply and a better utilisation of the housing stock, while maintaining tenant protection against abuse.

Further streamlining Sweden’s business regulations and administrative procedures could raise productivity. Using the opportunities offered by digitalisation would improve services, simplify procedures and shorten licence and permit processing times, the Survey said.

The future of Sweden’s knowledge-based economy largely rests on its ability to build the skills of its children and youth. School results have been in decline for years, while trends in society, such as immigration and rising income inequality, are increasing residential segregation and contributing to school segregation that isolates pupils from different social backgrounds into separate schools.
A coherent package of reforms to raise quality and equity in Sweden’s compulsory school system is needed. Central government institutions should be strengthened, by rebuilding a regional governance structure charged with organisational development and teacher training, and by implementing mechanisms to increasingly target funding to pupils’ needs. Choice and competition can be used as forces for positive change, but this will require reliable and transparent information about school quality, better regulation and new efforts to mitigate segregation. Teaching should be turned into a high-status occupation, by raising the quality of training, peer support and accountability.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How women in developing countries can harness e-commerce

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Having a baby during COVID-19 gave me new respect for the job ‘mom’

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN agency helps stranded Ethiopians return home, ending ‘harrowing migration ordeal’

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs quiz top officials on authorisation and contracts

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Modernising EU justice systems: New package to speed up digitalisation of justice systems and boost training of justice professionals

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Cyber-Risk Assessments: the vaccine for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

Asylum: MEPs call for more solidarity among EU member states

Business should be joyful – just ask the sports world

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

COVID-19 and its empathic social lessons

MEPs back first EU management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Coronavirus: EU funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

New EU telecom rules: latest actions in time for transposition deadline

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

Palliative care effectiveness at Universal Health Care: an eminent need

Women who crushed the gender barrier in medicine

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s