The Swedish economy will gradually return to normal after years of financial and debt crisis, with the deficits returning to balance and surplus, the Swedish government said in a statement on Thursday. In 2014, the net lending of Sweden is expected to show a deficit of 1.9 percent, estimated to reach a surplus of 1.1 percent in 2018 if reforms are undertaken, the Ministry of Finance said in its February forecast. "It is now important to strengthen the buffers and again build up a surplus in public finances," said Anders Borg, Swedish finance minister. "A small, open economy with a large financial sector should safeguard strong public finances to protect jobs and welfare when there is turbulence in the world around us," he added. In 2014, Swedish exports will be affected by weak international demand and growth will be driven by domestic demand. Global recovery is expected to become more stable and Swedish growth will gradually gain strength, said the Swedish government. Swedish GDP is expected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2015 and 3.7 percent in 2016, while employment is expected to continue to increase by between 0.9 and 1.2 percent respectively. The Swedish government intends to propose financing measures in its spring fiscal policy bill, worth up to 9 billion Swedish kronor (1.38 billion U.S. dollars) per year between 2015 and 2018.