The Danish economy is operating on all cylinders and the country is expected to grow its GDP by 1.9 percent this year according to a new report from the Danish Economic Council, also known as the Economic Wise Men.
The report predicts growth next year to reach 2.3 percent and projects 2020 growth to be at 2.8 percent.
“It is expected that the recent growth in the Danish economy will continue and increase in the coming years. The growth will be driven by both domestic demand and exports,” the report’s English summary reads.
The council predicts that the continued recovery of the US economy and slowly building growth in the euro area will give Danish exports a boost in the coming years, while domestic growth is expected to be driven by increased private consumption now that Danish consumer confidence is at its highest point in years.
The government’s own report on the state of the nation’s economy was originally due to be released on Thursday but was moved up to Tuesday in a move that only added fuel to the fire of election watchers, who have predicted that Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will call an election this week.
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The government's reported, presented by Economy Minister Morten Østergaard, predicted growth of 1.7 percent in 2015, up from 1.4 percent in its December forecast. Østergaard also said that the nation's budget deficit was lower than expected.
At a morning press conference touting her government’s plan to increase public spending by an additional 39 billion kroner through 2020, Thorning-Schmidt said that Denmark has turned itself around after some “difficult years”.
“Today we can say very clearly that Denmark is out of the crisis,” she said.
Thorning-Schmidt pointed to rising employment, which the Economic Council said has increased by 30,000 people since mid-2013.
But another report released on Tuesday raised questions about just how effective the PM’s job creation efforts have been.
An analysis from the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) found that while 41,416 new positions have been created since Thorning-Schmidt took office in the autumn of 2014, a vast majority of those have been filled by foreign workers. DA said that some 30,000 of the new jobs in the private sector were filled by foreigners and that just 654 new full-time positions have been obtained by Danes.
“By and large all of the growth assessed by full-time positions is borne by a foreign work force. That is unsustainable. It gives too high cost levels and is not satisfactory for all of the Danes who can’t make their way back into the labour market or who never get going,” DA’s Jørn Neergård Larsen told broadcaster DR.