Sweden

HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Sweden shows its resilience

Swedish businesses remain upbeat, despite signs of some economic slowing. Like many countries, Sweden is facing the external challenges of sluggish global growth, the US-China trade tensions and the uncertain impact of Brexit1. Despite calls for stimulus, the government has signalled limited funds for spending next year, while insisting it has “the muscle to take measures” if necessary. 

State of play

Tempered enthusiasm

Swedish businesses are positive about future growth, but they appear to be somewhat holding their collective breath as they await the outcome of various external risks. The proportion of businesses expecting to grow is only a little behind the global and European average (73% versus 79%). But a lower proportion of Swedish firms (36%) are feeling more optimistic than a year ago compared to the global average (47%).

Companies are also not transforming a key component of the businesses HSBC has identified as high-growth firms – fast-growing firms that are more likely to innovate and change themselves to meet market challenges. Just 28% of Swedish firms expect their business to change totally or substantially in the next five years. 

Strategies to overcome the threats or potential decline of business

Improve quality of products or services
35%
Invest in the customer experience
29%
Expand into new markets
29%
Invest in new skills in the workforce
26%
Invest in innovation
22%
Invest in employee wellbeing
18%

Improve environmental and ethical sustainability 17%
Tighten cashflow management 16%
Invest in better raw materials and suppliers 13%
Invest in data protection 10%
Expand digital platforms and channels 10%

What you need to know

  1. 1

    One-fifth of Swedish businesses expect their growth in the next year will be 15% or more, on par with the global (22%) and European (18%) averages.

  2. 2

    However, significantly fewer Swedish businesses are more optimistic than they were a year ago (36% versus 47% globally).

  3. 3

    New markets, increased interest in sustainability and a motivated workforce are the main drivers of growth.

What your business can do

  • Embrace transformation. Pull ahead of the competition by adopting an innovative mind-set that’s open to change.

  • Consider expanding into new markets, which is both a driver of growth and a strategy to overcome potential declines.

  • Put your customer first. More Swedish businesses are investing in the customer experience than the average globally.