STOCKHOLM, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish government presented a mostly positive picture of the state of the Nordic nation's economy Wednesday, stating that the unemployment rate is falling and that the deficit has decreased.
Presenting the government's latest economic development forecast, Sweden's Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said that more people are gaining work and that most of the deficit inherited by the country's previous, center-right government has essentially been erased.
Compared to its previous forecast, the government now counts on higher growth rates in the coming years, while the estimated growth rate for the current year has been modified.
However, in a statement published Wednesday, Andersson also noted that several challenges remain.
"The welfare system needs more resources in order for municipalities to be able to carry out their commitments toward citizens. Safety and security need to be strengthened and we must continue to handle the consequences of last year's high inflow of refugees," she said.
In the statement, Andersson said that the Swedish parliament is to present a tight fall budget with these priorities clearly stated.
She also reiterated the government's long-term priorities, which, she said, include ensuring that those able to work are employed, that poor-performing schools turn around weak results and that more is done to meet the challenges posed by climate change.
"We will achieve this and at the same time strengthen public finances. We will take responsibility for Sweden," said Andersson.
The Swedish government is led by a coalition between the Social Democrat Party and the Green Party.