Swedish sovereign debt spikes upwards on accounting change

Sweden’s total central government debt jumped in January after accounting changes were introduced by the country’s National Debt Office (Riksgälden).

The Debt Office said that under the new rules, debt at the end of December was SEK1,158bn (€131bn) – or SEK49.9bn (€5.7bn) higher than previously reported.

The new rules are intended to give “greater consistency and transparency in the accounts.”

“At the present time, the changes mean that the reported debt becomes somewhat larger, but this effect will fade over time.”

At the end of January the debt stood at SEK1,135bn, following a monthly deficit of -SEK14.6bn. This was SEK12.2bn higher than expected, and was chiefly caused by tax reimbursements, the EU membership fee and interest payments on debt, the Debt Office said.

The membership fee to the EU jumped by SEK1.4bn (€158m) over the month, although the Debt Office said this was “probably only a shift in payments between months”.

Overall in the past 12 months to the end of January 2012, central government payments resulted in a surplus of SEK23bn (€2.6bn).



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