STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Swedens government on Friday dramatically hiked its economic growth forecast to 4.5 percent this year and 4.0 percent in 2011 from its previous estimates of 3.3 percent and 3.8 percent. The Swedish economy has shown an unexpectedly strong development during the first six months of the year, the finance ministry said in a statement. The unexpectedly strong and broad recovery, combined with increasingly optimistic hope for the future among households and companies and an improved situation abroad has led the finance ministry to increase its GDP forecast for this year and next, it added. Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg meanwhile cautioned that large risks remain, especially if one looks abroad where many countries are dealing with considerable difficulties in their public finances. The government there wants to remain careful. Returning to a surplus is our highest priority so we can defend Sweden against new threats, Borg said in the statement. The new forecasts were published just a month ahead of Swedens September 19 elections, with the centre-right government hoping a strong economic recovery will help it win a second four-year term.