After a relatively strong performance during and after the pandemic, short-term growth prospects are weak. High inflation has eroded real wages and tighter monetary policy has increased borrowing costs and led to a housing price correction. Macroeconomic policies should ensure that higher inflation does not become entrenched. Better matching skills to labour demand, loosening rent controls and improving the integration of disadvantaged groups into the labour market could further boost employment and lay the ground for an inclusive recovery.
The economy is expected to contract by 0.3% in 2023 and grow by 1.4% in 2024. Private investment will decline in 2023, with construction activity set to drop significantly due to higher construction costs and falling housing prices. Elevated inflation will continue to reduce households’ real disposable income in the near term. Private consumption growth is projected to pick up somewhat from mid-2023 as real disposable incomes start to recover.
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While Sweden is a country with low inequality, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating difficulties for some and risks scarring youth working prospects. Inequality in educational outcomes risks widening further, as students from disadvantaged social backgrounds may face greater difficulties to adapt to distance learning. These are top priorities for a more resilient and equitable recovery.
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2021 Structural Reform Priorities