Central bank nearly halves growth outlook

Nationalbanken's growth predictions are significantly less optimistic than previously stated and warn that Denmark could end up on the wrong side of the EU's budget deficit threshold.

Central bank nearly halves growth outlook
Lars Rohde, the head of Nationalbanken, presented the new economic outlook on Tuesday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix
The Danish economy is performing weaker than expected, the National Bank said on Tuesday. 
Nationalbanken said Denmark’s economy would only grow by 0.8 percent, down significantly form its 1.5 percent growth forecast from June. 
The bank’s estimate is also well below the government’s stated goal of 1.4 percent growth. 
“The global economy continues to grow at a moderate pace and with significant differences across regions. Development in the first half of the year was a bit weaker than expected at the start of the year,” Nationalbanken wrote in a statement. 
In addition to nearly halving this year’s expected growth, the bank also trimmed expectations for 2015 from a 1.8 percent growth forecast to 1.7 percent. 
Nationalbanken’s growth forecasts would put Denmark’s budget deficit at 3.2 percent of GDP, above the EU’s stated threshold of three percent. 
But despite the significant downgrade of expectations, Nationalbanken stressed that economic improvements could still be right around the corner. 
“Nationalbanken expects a strengthening of the cautious recovery that has been underway since 2013 and which will gradually become more self-sustaining,” the bank’s statement read. 

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.