Sweden’s COVID-19 response hasn’t saved economy

New research has thrown a cold blanket over claims that Sweden’s lax response to COVID-19 has saved its economy:

Sweden’s “light-touch approach” to curtailing the spread of Covid-19 has produced only limited economic benefits, according to research that compared spending patterns in the Scandinavian country and in Denmark, where far more restrictive policies were adopted.

Unlike elsewhere in Europe, Sweden did not go into lockdown, keeping shops, schools and restaurants open and relying on voluntary social distancing instead. While the strategy has resulted in a much higher mortality rate, researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that consumer spending in Sweden fell only 4 percentage points less than in neighboring Denmark — 25% compared to 29%.

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