Anna Breman is the chief economist at Swedbank.
Anna Breman is the chief economist at Swedbank. Credit: Ulla Engberg/SR

Swedish economy in 2017: bright outlook, but some "political risks"

Chief economist: Polarised, but strong, labour market
8:04 min

What can we expect from the economy in Sweden in 2017? The forecast is reasonably bright, despite many uncertainties on the horizon.

Radio Sweden spoke to Anna Breman, chief economist at Swedbank, which is one of four big banks in Sweden, to find out what she sees in the crystal ball for the coming year for the Swedish economy.

Generally, the picture is bright, she says.

"We do see healthy growth. There is a lot of housing construction, which is needed, and is contributing to growth. We have a strong labour market; a lot of people are getting employed. We see that consumption, investments and exports continue to grow at a healthy pace. So it is a good year for the Swedish economy," she says.

But there are of course also clouds on the horizon. There is a problem of "matching" on the labour market in Sweden.

"A lot of people who come into the labour market don't quite have the skills that are demanded, so there is a polarisation in the labour market, and I am concerned about that, even though I still see a strong labour market," she said.

Internationally, 2017 offers plenty of what Anna Breman calls "political risks", with a number of elections in Europe to keep an eye on, and questions as to what impact populist movements will have. The outcome of the Brexit negotiations as well as what decisions Donald Trump will make once he is in the White House, are also unsure. These uncertainties could affect the economic development, says Breman.

"We have to consider this (the uncertainty) as one of the major themes of this year," she said.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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