Danish prices rise again after historic drop

The first drop in consumer prices since 1954 caused worries that Denmark could slip into a recession but February figures show that the price of goods and services are already back up.

Danish prices rise again after historic drop
Photo: Colourbox
Danish consumer prices dropped in January for the first time in 60 years, but the fall didn’t last long. 
Figures released by Statistics Denmark on Tuesday showed that the national price of goods and services increased 0.2 percent in February 2015 compared to the same month last year. 
Largely due to plummeting global oil prices, January’s historic fall in consumer prices raised hopes it could boost Denmark's anaemic consumer spending. 
Although prices on the whole were up in February, the continued relatively low price of energy helped keep inflation in check. Without the cost of energy and non-processed food, prices would have rose 0.9 percent over February 2013.
Economist Lone Kjærgaard told TV2 that Danish consumers should take advantage of the price standstill. 
“As a consumer, one should take advantage of the favorable conditions here and now: One’s salary increases while the prices of daily goods is standing still. There is much to indicate that this will not continue,” she said.
Last month, Handelsbanken economist Jes Asmussen also predicted that January’s deflation was unlikely to last.
"Looking at the trends in the price of services, wages, house prices and consumer expectations for inflation in Denmark, there is nothing to suggest that the Danish economy is about to be caught in a vicious deflationary spiral," he said according to business daily Børsen.
Danish consumers have largely reined in spending since housing prices began a protracted slide in 2007, leaving the country with one of the world's highest levels of household debt.

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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.