Swedish economy hit hardest ever during corona peak


However, the blow to the Swedish economy has been less severe compared to the contraction in other European countries.

Germany (min 10.1 percent), France (min 13.8 percent) Italy (min 12.4 percent), Spain (min 18.5 percent) and Portugal (min 14.1 percent) all had a much stricter corona- approach than Sweden and performed worse economically in the second quarter.

Light approach

Unlike other European countries, schools, hairdressers, cafes and restaurants were allowed to stay open in Sweden. The government of the country thus placed the responsibility for stopping the spread of the virus largely in the hands of the common sense of the people.

Too early for conclusions

The big question now is whether this approach has worked and has been the right one. “The jury is not yet out about it”, says Robert Bergqvist, chief economist at the Swedish SEB bank on Twitter.

According to him, this should look at how the economy recovers in the second half of the year. The SEB is now counting on a plus of 2 percent, where it previously assumed a minus of 5 percent.

5,747 killed

Meanwhile, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), 5747 people have died of corona in Sweden. That equates to 56 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

By comparison, in the Netherlands where we had a slightly stricter approach than in Sweden, 6,140 people died of corona. That is 36 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Swedish figures are comparable to those in Italy (58 deaths per 100,000) and Spain (61 deaths per 100,000), where the corona measures were much stricter but the economy was hit much harder.

Relatively many deaths in Sweden

Germany, on the other hand, did much better. Partly due to the corana measures, the economy shrank by more than 10 percent, but for every 100,000 inhabitants, only 11 people died from corona.

Compared to other Scandinavian countries, there are also relatively many more deaths in Sweden.

Not immune to Covid

The sharp contraction of the Swedish economy in the second quarter confirms that it has not been immune to Covid, despite the government’s mild approach, Capital Economics senior economist David Oxley told Bloomberg. “Nevertheless, the economic crisis in the first half of the year is in a completely different class from the horror shows elsewhere in Europe.”

The Swedish government has always maintained that the light approach was not intended to save the economy. And Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has admitted that the government should have tested more and done more to protect the elderly.


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