People sitting in the sun on the steps of the Royal Dramatic Theater practice social distancing in Stockholm on April 22, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sweden has attracted global attention for not imposing a full lockdown, as seen in most of Europe, to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Nonetheless, data released from the country’s central bank and a leading Swedish think tank show that the economy will be just as badly hit as its European neighbors.
Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, gave two possible scenarios for the economic outlook in 2020, which it said “depend on how long the spread of infection continues and on how long the restrictions implemented to slow it down are in place.” Both possible scenarios are bleak.
In the first scenario, gross domestic product contracts by 6.9% in 2020 before rebounding to grow 4.6% in 2021. In a more negative prediction, GDP could contract by 9.7% and a recovery could be slower with the economy growing 1.7% in…