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ECONOMY

Denmark avoids European production slump – for now

New industrial production figures from Statistics Denmark show that the Scandinavian country is so far avoiding a wider European slowdown.

Denmark avoids European production slump – for now
A file photo of work at Novozymes in Bagsværd. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The slowdown of the European economy continues to bypass Denmark, according to the latest manufacturing figures from Statistics Denmark, writes dibusiness.dk.

Although industrial production did fall by 1.2 per cent in February, it has increased by 6.1 per cent over a three-month period.

“With February’s almost unchanged industrial production, the slowdown of the European economy continues to bypass Danish industry, and in several sectors companies even expect to increase production in coming months,” said Morten Granzau, chief economist with the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

“Even when we take into account the fact that Danish industry has many pharmaceutical and food companies that are less dependent on market conditions, the figures are impressive,” Granzau added.

Growth is taking place in several sectors, but significant increases in the pharmaceutical industry as a result of price adjustments is a main driver, according to the figures.

But the general increase in Danish production may prove temporary, the analyst warned.

“Expectations of continued growth in industrial production may result in industry workers lacking colleagues to fill incoming orders. In 2018 manufacturers hired 3,500 more employees,” Granzau said.

If the slowdown of the European economy continues, Denmark’s industrial production is unlikely to avoid decline to decline in coming months.

“If the German industry’s expectations of a continued manufacturing slump hold true, it will impact Danish industrial orders, too. Last year, exports of goods and machines to Germany amounted to 45 billion kroner,” says Granzau said.

READ ALSO: Danish economy avoids global uncertainty, so far

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SAS

‘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. 

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