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Holiday spending ‘good sign’ for Danish economy

Spending in December 2014 was up seven percent over the same period last year and one particular shopping day set new records, newly-released figures showed.

Holiday spending 'good sign' for Danish economy
Dankort spending hit 27.8 billion kroner in the first 23 days of the month. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Danes’ Christmas spending could be another in a long list of signs that the country is moving on from the recession. 
 
With spending on the national debit card system Dankort reaching 27.8 billion kroner ($4.6 billion) through the first 23 days of the month, December 2014 represented a seven percent increase over the same period last year. 
 
Although the figures from Nets, the company behind the Dankort, didn’t differentiate between Christmas spending and everyday use, a top economist at Danske Bank said the results are a positive sign that Danish consumers have renewed confidence. 
 
“In the run-up to Christmas there was a lot of focus on the fact that a lot of stores had already had sales. With Dankort sales measured in running prices, that was seen a sign that Dankort use would fall. But the fact that it increased by seven percent anyway shows that Danes didn’t just use the attractive prices to buy cheaper but also to buy more,” Steen Bocian told Ritzau. 
 
“No matter how you look at the figures, it seems that private consumption is quickly on the rise. Therefore, these numbers are a really good sign for the Danish economy here at the end of 2014,” he added. 
 
Spending was especially strong on December 22nd, when Dankort use reached 1.75 billion kroner on the power of 4.8 million transactions. Both figures represent a new record, according to Nets. 
 
In the run-up to the Christmas season, the Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) predicted that Christmas spending would stall out this year and end at the same level as in 2012 and 2013. 

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SHOPPING

Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown ‘ketchup effect’

Sales of shoes and clothes Denmark leapt by close to 100 percent in May in what the Danish Chamber of Commerce is describing as a post-coronavirus "ketchup effect".

Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown 'ketchup effect'
Danes have been buying shoes like they're going out of fashion (which these Moshi Moshi shoes from 2008 clearly are). Photo: Jan Jørgensen/Ritzau Scanpix
According to Statistics Denmark, retail sales overall rose 9.4 percent in the month after shopping malls were reopened, hitting a new record after the largest month-on-month increase since it first started reporting retail statistics at the start of the year 2000. 
 
“This is of course positive and clearly shows that the Danes have had the courage to increase consumption as the reopening takes place,” said Tore Stramer, chief economist at the chamber, in a press statement
 
“However, it must be borne in mind that there has been a saving in consumption that has been let loose in May. So we are also seeing a ketchup effect in consumption.” 
 
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Denmark's government shut down all shopping malls in the country in mid-March, with most high street shops also closing their doors until the restrictions were relaxed on May 11. 
 
 
The surge in sales will make up for some of the financial hit taken by Danish retailers during the lockdown, indicating that profits for the year might be less affected than feared. 
 
But Stramer warned that higher unemployment and a fall in Danish exports would continue to drag on Denmark's economy over the rest of the year, meaning May's bumper sales were unlikely to continue. 
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