The Sweden economy has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) above 500 thousand billion USD (or half a trillion USD).
As such, Sweden is among the top 25 countries in the world in terms of economy size (according to World Bank and IMF figures).
But what makes the Sweden economy tick?
Are they very open to trade?
And what about their debt habits?
Let’s find out.
So we know they’re big.
How about their GDP per capita?
$49,700 (CIA World Factbook), which puts Sweden at spot 26th in the world.
They only have 9.9 million people (2016, estimates, World Bank).
This helps explain their high GDP per capita when their GDP is so close to that of Argentina (43.8 million people, with similar GDP, per capita: $20,200 for 86th place).
Let’s talk about main industries in Sweden.
They’re big on telecommunications, Chemicals, vehicles, and IKEA (you know I had to say it).
The Sweden economy is well diversified, with a good part of its exports being from services in the information technology and engineering fields.
Aside from that, they have a strong industry in precision materials, steel, and pulp (though these have decreased in importance following the emergence of the knowledge economy).
Tell me about Sweden’s international trade.
Exports of goods and services in Sweden amounted to 45.59% of Gross Domestic Product in 2015 according to World Bank data.
And imports of goods and services?
40.84% of GDP, which placed Sweden at a trade surplus in 2015 (good for them).
If we think of total trade, then we have 86.43% of GDP.
Compare that to Mexico’s 72%, or Canada’s 60%.
Or conversely, to Switzerland’s 120+% of GDP (European countries are very open when it comes to trade).
Though, perhaps it’s a bit unfair since Switzerland is in mainland Europe, as opposed to the Scandinavian Peninsula (Norway, Sweden, Finland).
Sweden’s government debt is around 41.6% of GDP (2016). If we were to put Sweden next to a list of G20 countries, it would be at the bottom half (good).
The most similar?
Switzerland beats it again (32.6%), though that may or may not be a good contest to win (at those levels of debt, you could theoretically grow more by increasing debt -done well).
What about household debt?
85.7% of GDP.
This would put Sweden with the highest household debtors in the G20 (Sweden is not part of the G20, but we’re using them to compare).
The closest country would be United Kingdom with 87.6%.
Other close contestants are United States (79.5%) and South Korea (92.8%).
This is one in which Switzerland misses out, since it has a whopping 128.4% of household debt as percent of GDP, the highest in the G20 list.
I’ll cover the Swedish Krona (SEK), the currency of Sweden, and the Sveriges Riksbank, the Central Bank of Sweden separately.
When I do, we’ll get to delve into what’s what: FX trading and what matters if you’re longing or shorting SEK.
Do notice that I’ve covered the majors by themselves. Not specific pairs thus far.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t go into specific pairs and what drives pair prices.
Usually, it’s just a combination of what’s happening with each currency in the pair, so it won’t depart much from what’s already been covered in the single currency pages.
Anyways, I want to let you know I’ll cover other, less in your face currencies like the aforementioned SEK, but also the Mexican Peso, the Yuan, the Ruble, the South African Rand, and perhaps the Brazilian Real.
I’ll also cover their respective economies and Central Banks, each separately.
See you soon,
The Forex Economist
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