The trade sector in Sweden is set to lose SEK70 billion (€6.73 billion) in the second quarter of 2020, according to the latest Merchant Economy report released by the Swedish trade association, Svensk Handel.
The losses are directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which also resulted in short-term layoffs for approximately 110,000 people across the country, the report added.
It also found that notices of job termination increased by 220% year-on-year during the quarter.
Sweden’s GDP dropped by 7.3% during this period, which is the largest decline since 1940.
Total household consumption fell by 8.1% compared to the same period last year.
The report also highlighted certain ‘bright spots’ in the retail trade, with several sub-industries having performed well during the pandemic.
Retail trade increased by 1.8%, while e-commerce registered a 33% increase.
However, border trade and city centres continued to suffer from large losses in sales, the report said.