It is clear that the crisis is deep and that there has been an unprecedented drop in economic activity. It is very unclear exactly how deep and what will happen once the health crisis is over. We simply do not have useful experience to draw from. We believe that the most likely outcome is a sharp recovery in the second half of 2020, which will still leave us with a large income loss, higher unemployment and a big increase in public debt. Most risk factors point to a worse outcome than that. Well equipped Nordics…
Compared to the rest of Europe, we expect the Nordics to handle the crisis relatively well.
Healthy public finances allow for strong fiscal countermeasures, focused on helping businesses and jobs survive. Large public sectors mean that the decline in GDP and employment is likely to be smaller than elsewhere, at least if we do not include those on temporary public support while still attached to their employer. A high level of social benefits protects those that do become unemployed.
The Nordics are relatively less dependent on industries such as restaurants, hotels, recreation and culture, which will be particularly hard hit, and apart from Denmark, the Nordics have deficits on their tourism balance. Surveys rank Nordic governments high in terms of efficiency and trust, and that should be useful in a health crisis, although at this point, it is too early to say if the responses to the risk from the virus have in fact been successful.