Denmark goes to polls on sustained growth

Positive economy figures released on Friday are likely to give Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt a boost as she aims for re-election.

Denmark goes to polls on sustained growth
Thorning-Schmidt is hoping to ride the improving economy to victory. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix
Denmark registered its seventh straight quarter of growth in January-March, rising by 0.4 percent from the previous three-month period, data showed Friday just three weeks ahead of a general election.
This is the first time the Scandinavian country has enjoyed such a long period of growth since 2000.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called legislative elections for June 18 even though her Social Democratic-led government is trailing the right-wing opposition in the polls.
Under election regulations she had to hold a vote by September 14, and she is believed to have wanted to take advantage of Denmark's strong economic showing.
The country's gross domestic product (GDP) reached its highest level in terms of volume since 2008, Friday's figures showed.
Household consumption rose by 0.7 percent from the previous quarter, boosted by rising optimism about the labour market.
Exports climbed 2.0 percent, bolstered by the weakening currency, the krone.
“There was a strong increase in the exports of goods, while there was a decline in both the export and import of services,” Statistics Denmark said.
On the other hand, there was a 2.6 percent drop in investments in the quarter, primarily in the construction sector, though investments remain up year-on-year.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘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.