We are facing the greatest threat to our country since the Great Depression or even from the Civil War from the mix of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, an economic Depression, 20%+ true unemployment, a million businesses destroyed, a severely divided country, a grossly incompetent President and a Congress that is paralyzed.
While this is mostly true, it is of note that the catastrophic economic consequences of the virus are due to our reaction to the virus, not the virus itself.
Regardless of how the virus spread is managed, the economic consequences will be there. In fact, the stronger the measures, the deeper the economic crunch.
It is fine to say that you need proper management, as it is true, but there needs to be a realization that this management needs to balance the medical consequences of the outbreak AND the livelihoods of the population at large.
It is not an easy crisis to manage, but it helps to maintain a bit of circumspection and cynicism rather than fall into extremes.
It doesn't help that in the US, the deep political division has found its way into the Covid crisis.
Sweden is a very interesting case, to study in contrast to my own country which has implemented a diametrically opposite path.
It appears that the economy of Sweden has taken a larger hit then the New Zealand economy.
Although social isolation methods were not by government direction in Sweden, self preservation, has meant the social isolation occurring anyway has dampened domestic business activity regardless. All countries are suffering the downturn in world trade, and tourism income regardless of their national restrictions, as employment loss, productivity losses, and increased medical expenditure sucks so much discretionary spending worldwide.
These effects are beyond the control of any national government.
I do not know the current health outcomes in Sweden, but here in NZ excess covid deaths, is actually the other way round. Less people have died this year then last year. Suicide rates supprisingly declined during lockdown. We have less flu circulating this winter, and normal hospital and medical services were only disrupted for 7 weeks. Unemployment will peak, probably early next year, but expected to remain comfortably under 10% which is amazing seeing inbound tourism is a large contributor to our economy.
So while we are taking some time out from the international sphere, medical science is continualy advancing with better prevention and treatment regimes to reduce the effects.
I will try as a swede to give some answers.
First the answers includes a lot of guessing while it will take time to have the full picture until 2023 and economy effect perhaps until the end of 2020s.
First as a reminder. Swedish government put a lot of recommendations that in other countries call rules. My experience from being in Sweden during spring 2020 and 1 of july driving Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France and now has stayed in Spain for 35 days is that recommendations in Sweden and rules in Germany are followed while rules in Belgium and france not as much.
Here in Spain it is a mixed picture.
Sweden early said that this is not a 100 meter sprint but a marathon probably over 24 to 36 month. Success in the start does not mean that success after 36 month is guaranteed. We also thanks to the international companies got Covid to special stockholm already in december 2019 which made the reaction in february too late with many death as result special old and weak.
Sweden had as perhaps the only EU country a growing GDP in Q1 and preliminary a negative Q2 of 8,6 but compared to most EU wiuth everage of a negative in Q1 and Q2 disaster over 12% I would say that the numbers are terrible but not as terrible.
I do not know so much about New Zeeland economy except a fantastic tourist landscape and nature and mining so I cannot really compare but Iwill try to explain the swedish ecomony very brief.
Sweden is we can say a small Germany. There is a lot of vehicle industry special heavy trucks where Scania / Traton and Volvo is world leaders, Telecommunications in Ericsson, Aviation Saab, Power / energy ABB etc etc.
During the crisis they were stopped. Not because of lockdown but because no components were sent from China, Germany, France USA etc. So the whole industry lost second half Q1 and first part Q2. I know that Scania for example started production with overtime when component situation allowed it and many workers in Sweden has been working 6 day weeks from May until the holidays started in July. So we expect this to be shown in Q3.
Then we have IT startup in special Stockholm generating names like Spotify, Primekey, Skype etc etc. In short term they worked from home but when the bigger industries closed many IT consultants were thrown out. The main goal for the government was to make this industry survive while so much of Swedish GDP increase comes from this areas and other services like music studios, banking etc.
Last we have the most complicated areas with service sectors like pubs, restaurants tourism etc. This is in Sweden a very big sector and has with the new weekend tourism exploded. From being tat all swedes went to greece and spain suddenly the world came to Scandinavia and baltics.
Stockholm copenhagen etc has changed dramatically with ships, ryanair easyjet making europe and coming to the cities around the baltics.
The problem is that while Scania can survive 6 month the family owned restaurant do not. and a lot of effort has been made in Sweden in contrast to Finland, Denmark and Norway to make them thru this crisis. If we are successful, we will see in 24 month.
So yes, Sweden is extremely depending both on export markets but also international suppliers connected with complicated chains. I do believe that there will be one lesson learned and much production moved from Asia to eastern europe, but it is what it is.
Now we see that the countries like denmark and norway that we have been compared with as a bad example having fast increasing numbers again. Let us see in 2 -3 month if they can keep the number of dead down.