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.
The scientific consensus is clear: climate change is associated with increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters ranging from droughts and wildfires to hurricanes and coastal flooding. While the extent of the economic damage cannot be known for certain, strong evidence suggests it could be quite severe. The challenge for policymakers will be to decide how much to spend on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To do that, they must be able to compare the costs of various options, including renewable-energy sources and electric cars.