Danish economic growth continues to disappoint

The Danish economy is not performing as well as the government expected. Tuesday marked the third time that the government has lowered its growth projections for 2016 and 2017.

Danish economic growth continues to disappoint
This is the third time the government has lowered growth expectations since Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen presented the government's economic report in December. File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt
The latest projections now call for just 1.1 percent growth this year, down from a previously projected 1.9 percent. The 2017 projection was similarly lowered to 1.7 percent growth from 2.0 percent. 
When the government released its 2015 results and 2016 expectations in December, leading economists warned that the projections looked too rosy
“There is […] a real risk that the government in May will present its third growth adjustment,” Nykredit senior analyst Tore Stramer foreshadowed. 
The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said that since its December report, “new information on the Danish and international economy” has come to light. The ministry pointed to the drop in oil prices, which are now down to around $42 per barrel, slower-than-expected global economic growth and weak domestic production growth. 
“There is no doubt that we face a major economic challenge over the coming years. Therefore it is essential that we prioritize with due care and that all aspects of the public sector focus on fulfilling their duties smarter so that we can get more welfare out of the money that is available,” Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said. 

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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.