Denmark’s economy grows via consumption

Denmark's economy grows via consumption
While official data suggests Danes are becoming more willing to part with their money, a chief economist expressed caution that the change might not last. Photo: Colourbox
Newly released data hints that Danes are starting to increase their spending after years of weak consumer demand.
The Danish economy swung back to growth in the first quarter, bolstered by private consumption and investment, official data showed on Wednesday.
The Danish economy contracted by 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, when private consumption data was skewed by insurance companies' payouts following two storms.
The country has been plagued by weak consumer demand after a housing bubble burst six years ago.
The 0.9-percent increase in first-quarter economic output reflected "a recovery in industry, commerce and transport," Statistics Denmark said.
"Private consumption, investment and changes in inventories contributed positively to the increase in demand, while public consumption fell," it said.
The government said on Tuesday that "there are many signs that growth is returning" and that it believes growth will reach 1.5 percent this year and 2.0 percent next year.
Handelsbanken chief economist Jes Asmussen cautioned that growth in the first quarter was partly due to a build-up in inventories and because of the insurance payments made in the previous quarter.
"The impression is that there were a few temporary effects that contributed to growth in the first quarter, which may well fade away in the current quarter," he said, according to news agency Ritzau.

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