Sweden entered the pandemic with substantial buffers and suffered a relatively shallow recession in 2020. The decline in output was moderated by substantial income and liquidity support as well as structural features of the economy. Sweden’s initial less stringent containment strategy seems to have altered the timing of the economic fallout, which intensified towards the middle of the year. This fallout has particularly impacted the youth and foreign-born. Economic recovery is projected over the next two years, but uncertainty has increased due to the new strains of the virus and slow vaccination.
France is among the countries most affected by the global pandemic, both in terms of health and economic impact. Output is expected to have declined by around 9 percent in 2020. The authorities put in place a large emergency fiscal package to address the crisis, focused on preserving jobs and providing liquidity for households and firms, supplemented by additional stimulus measures to support the economic recovery in 2021 and beyond. The banking sector entered the crisis with comfortable buffers and, together with the support of the ECB’s accommodative monetary policy, facilitated the provision of credit to the economy. The increased leverage, however, poses solvency risks to the corporate sector. A partial recovery with GDP growth at about 5½ percent is expected in 2021. Risks to the outlook are large, dominated by the virus dynamics and, together with other risks, tilted somewhat to the downside.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) took place against the backdrop of an ongoing recovery of the financial system. Since the global financial crisis (GFC), financial regulation has been substantially enhanced by the implementation of euro area-wide (EA-wide) regulatory and supervisory frameworks. Furthermore, the Italian authorities have implemented important measures that improved governance, facilitated capitalization, raised prudential requirements, and improved asset quality. In response, Italian banks have made substantial progress tackling legacy non-performing loans (NPLs) and improving solvency ratios.