Recently the international media has been commenting on the fact that Sweden has not endured economic pain from the virus because they did not introduce the sort of Draconian lockdown at the rest of Europe has seen.
- FT July 2020 “Swedish companies reap benefits of country’s Covid-19 approach”
- New York Times April 2020 “‘Life Has to Go On’: How Sweden Has Faced the Virus Without a Lockdown”.
Sweden has been held up as a country that has successfully curbed the virus while not suffering from the economic slowdown from lockdowns. Stories have been written how the big Swedish companies like Ericsson, Volvo and Electrolux have benefited and their bankers have been speaking with unconcealed delight with the results being posted by these companies for the first half of the year.
But what do you expect from bankers who have financed these companies. They are relieved that the loans are continuing to be serviced, but the truth is none of the big companies mentioned rely on their domestic Swedish markets. They are all huge exporters and as such have been lucky that their markets are not as bad as predicted. But to claim that they are in good shape because there was no lockdown in Sweden is downright wrong.
Sweden has one the highest death rates in the EU at 564 per million of the population. They have almost 10 times more deaths than the other Nordic neighbours, and that is nothing to be proud about, especially when they have one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and an excellent public healthcare system.