- 9.6 million
- $396.8 billion 1.5% growth 1.3% 5-year compound annual growth $41,188 per capita
- $8.1 billion
Sweden’s economic freedom score is 72.7, making its economy the 23rd freest in the 2015 Index. Its score has decreased by 0.4 point since last year, with improvements in four of the 10 economic freedoms outweighed by deteriorations in freedom from corruption, business freedom, and the management of government spending. Sweden is ranked 12th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.
Despite its well-established welfare state and large government budget, Sweden has made marginal changes to improve its economic freedom and competitiveness. Over the past five years, economic freedom in Sweden has advanced by 0.8 point with gains in five of the 10 economic freedoms, including fiscal
freedom, the management of government spending, monetary freedom, trade freedom, and investment freedom.
Sweden’s high-performing economy has built its success on openness to global trade and investment. Reforms over the past two decades reduced the role of government and introduced market mechanisms that set the foundations for today’s competitive economy. Sweden’s business freedom score is one of the highest in the world. Fiscal responsibility remains central to the new government’s policy proposals, but plans to reverse some of the previous government’s tax cuts in order to fund higher spending could hurt growth.
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995 but rejected adoption of the euro in 2003. The public remains opposed to eurozone membership. The economic downturn in 2009 led to a slight increase in unemployment, but unemployment levels appeared to be stabilizing in 2014. A general election was held in September 2014. After difficult negotiations, a new center-left coalition government consisting of the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party took office. Banks are well capitalized, and Sweden has weathered the financial crisis relatively well. Sweden’s economy is export-oriented; principal exports include automobiles, telecommunications products, construction equipment, and other investment goods.