Sweden and Norway, Q2 GDP Growth

Reader Bruce Hall brings our attention to the performance of Swedish GDP, given the pandemic response they have adopted – comparing against UK, Germany, France and UK. My guess is that he wanted to show the tradeoff between lives lost and growth. Personally, I think the Sweden vs. next-door-neighbor Norway comparison is at least as interesting.

Figure 1: Real GDP growth rates, quarter-on-quarter (not annualized) in %, for Sweden (brown), and for Norway (blue). Source: Sweden, fm FRED, Norway fm tradingeconomics.com. 

Summing Q1 and Q2 growth (not strictly “correct” since growth rates aren’t in logs – please forgive me), it’s -6.8% for Norway, -8.5% for Sweden.

To do this correctly, we’d need to control for counterfactuals. But for now, it is what it is.