OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2000-2001 (O E C D Economic by Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

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However, an important question is to what extent, and under which conditions, the recent favourable developments can be extrapolated into the future. e. the output gap was underestimated. In addition, this chapter has identified at least two significant factors that have helped to reduce inflation in recent years, both of which are likely to be temporary. One is that that gross profit margins (markups) rose until © OECD 2001 OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 48 Figure 11. Labour market developments Thousand persons Thousand persons 4 800 4 800 A.

The policy paradigm has been changed repeatedly during the last 25 years; the evolution of stabilisation policies in Sweden was characterised in a recent report as having been “looking ahead through the rear-view mirror”, indicating that past failures have been a major impetus for reforms (Jonung, 1999). The current framework for macroeconomic policies has been in place for a number of years by now; monetary policy has been targeting a 2 per cent inflation rate since 1993, and fiscal policy has been governed by expenditure ceilings and a target for the cyclicallyadjusted budget surplus since 1997.

Thus, as the latter picked up significantly in 2000, the growth rate of real exports accelerated from 6 per cent in 1999 to almost 10 per cent. Sweden has a strong foothold in many ICT markets, and in general its exports are relatively knowledge intensive. Exports of telecommunications equipment have expanded particularly rapidly in recent years; their share in total exports has increased from 5 per cent in the early 1990s to around 15 per cent in 2000. While export performance has been largely unchanged in volume terms in the last few years (Figure 5), it has weakened more than 10 per cent when measured in current prices partly because of the declining relative prices of ICT equipment and weak export prices more generally (see below).

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