2005 OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2005

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2005

OECD's 2005 survey of the Swedish economy examines its key economic challenges including population ageing, maintaining the welfare system, increasing the labour supply, and achieving environmental objectives.  Individual chapters examine strengthening public finances, reducing sickness and disability absences, and raising hours worked. This issue's special chapter discusses improving quality and value in healthcare.

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Assessment and Recommendations

Sweden’s economic performance over the past decade or so has been impressive in many respects. The business sector has shown its resilience by brushing off some fairly large shocks, including a global slowdown and the bursting of the telecoms bubble. The current account has swung from a deficit to a large and growing surplus. The fiscal accounts have moved into surplus, and the government has moved into a net asset position. Inflation has been maintained at a low level. And one of the more encouraging signs for the country’s medium-term outlook is the remarkable surge in productivity. This productivity pick-up appears to be sustainable and can in part be attributed to the various structural and macroeconomic policy reforms put in place since the economic crisis of the early 1990s. The labour market performance has been less exemplary, however, even though it is better than in many other European economies. While labour force participation and employment rates are high, especially among women and the elderly, the overall employment rate has not yet recovered to its pre-crisis level and hours of work are low by OECD standards...

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