How do the Nordic CEOs of Accountor see the Corona fall 2020?
This is the second part of our Nordic blog series about corona pandemic, economy and society. The first part handled pandemic impacts we have already seen in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
In this part we asked our CEOs:
Magnus Högvall, Sweden: The recovery will take time but many companies will come out stronger
“Autumn will be about recovery, and recovery not to what was before but recovery to something new. There will be a huge effect from Covid-19 remaining for long time to come. A Downturn is dramatically fast, the recovery takes much longer. There will be an intense focus on how to re-shape businesses for the new situation; reducing cost, and refocusing offerings. Many companies will come out stronger and leaner and more profitable after this crisis. The usage of digital technology will increase further.
“Sweden and the Nordic countries have always been in the forefront of using new technology – I would say we have a great advantage as a nation and a country here. I am pretty optimistic that we will come through this even if it will be difficult times in the near future for many companies and individuals. Interestingly though the Stockholm area have now a big growth in new start-ups – there are new business being born as we speak out of the new situation.”
Timo Matinpalo, Norway: The economy is anticipated to recover along with the rising oil price
“I am sure there will be no country level lockdowns in the autumn, locally it is still possible. However, now the authorities are more experienced how to handle the balance between restrictions and economy. In any case, the Norwegian economy is and will be strong. Also the big contributor, oil price, is expected to continue rising as economies continue to recover. I have seen estimates saying that GDP will decline this year -3.5 %, but will grow again in 2021 by +4%.“
Karsten Heiselberg, Denmark: We might face a set back and an increase in bankruptcies
“COVID-19 infection level in Denmark is raising in September and this can give a setback, with need for more restrictions. No one wants another lockdown, which I do not think we get. Currently the unemployment rate is declining and there is only a minor raise in bankruptcy. The salary compensations packages ran until end of august and as we approach the dates for deferral of VAT and tax, I expect, that we will see an increase in the number bankruptcies.”
Petteri Heikinheimo, Finland: Reductions in service and export industry are expected
“It is a bit frightening. There has been news about layoffs and closures during last weeks. I’m afraid they are just the beginning and there will be substantial reductions in service and export industry. In Finland temporarily layoffs are a quick way to react. In spring, we also had changes in legislation making implementation of layoffs easier and companies have used them a lot. Layoffs are like artificial respiration when you need to make quick adjustments. But we are no longer talking about a sudden drop. The downturn is much bigger now.”