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Public expenditure management in Sweden

Tuesday 15 September 2009, 18:00

In the 1980s Sweden boasted the largest budget surpluses of any OECD member country, but by the early 1990s reported the highest budget deficit among the group of 30 countries. Following a financial crisis, a reformed budget process was established in 1996.

These reforms led to significant changes in the budgeting process including a medium-term expenditure plan which sets three-year spending ceilings for each of the 27 government spending departments, changes to the parliamentary process of budgetary decision making, and tighter rules on appropriations.

Following the implementation of these reforms Sweden has reduced government debt as a percentage of GDP from 84.4% in 1996 to 44.6% in 2008.


Göran Persson, Prime Minister (1996-2006) and Finance Minister (1994-96)