Sweden today announced a record decline of more than 8% of its GDP in the second quarter, even though the country chose not to impose a shutdown on its population ahead of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Between April and June, the Swedish economy decreased by 8.6% from year to year and 8.2% from year to year, according to preliminary estimates published by Statistics Sweden’s statistical institutes.
This is the largest decline ever recorded quarterly according to Statistics Sweden. Based on the government’s latest forecast in June, Sweden predicts that GDP will fall by 6% for the full year, the largest decrease since 1940.
“The sharp contraction of the Swedish economy during the second quarter shows that Covid is not immune despite the mild quarantine that has been talked about a lot.”
In contrast to the measures introduced in the rest of Europe, Sweden did not quarantine its population and kept cafes, bars, restaurants and businesses open, urging all citizens to “take responsibility”.
The Swedish authorities insisted that their strategy was not aimed at defending the economy but was adopted for health reasons. The figure is doubtful: with more than 5,700 deaths and 80,000 cases, Sweden is among the most affected countries in terms of population.