Does Danish inflation mean a more costly Christmas?

While the general cost of products in Denmark increases as a result of inflation, a number of traditional Christmas items have escaped the price hike.

Denmark's signature Christmas 'flæskesteg' is, unlike many other food products, cheaper in 2021 than in 2020.
Denmark's signature Christmas 'flæskesteg' is, unlike many other food products, cheaper in 2021 than in 2020.Photo: Vibeke Toft/Ritzau Scanpix

Compared to Christmas 2020, many products are considerably more expensive. But the pork cut used to make Danish Christmas staple flæskesteg is cheaper than it was last year.

Marzipan, also a festive favourite in the country, is also slightly cheaper than it was a year ago, according to Statistics Denmark figures.

Other common Christmas ingredients such as duck and red wine are more expensive than they were 12 months ago.

Overall, a Danish Christmas dinner is likely to work out at a similar cost.

Price changes for the various ingredients are related to demand and supply according to Allan Sørensen, senior economist with the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

“We can see that many products, like mobile phones or bicycles, have become harder to produce and deliver,” Sørensen said.

“Others have fallen in price. This has included a large supply of pork which is why flæskesteg has become a little cheaper,” he explained.

The fall in the price of pork flies in the face of the general trend for food, which have become more expensive since last Christmas according to Danske Bank economist Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen.

READ ALSO: Why customers can expect to pay more at Danish supermarkets

Although the Danish Christmas dinner as a whole won’t burn a much bigger whole in pockets than usual, many seasonal products have undergone moderate price increases according to Hansen.

“With the very low recent prices of pigs, (pork) is expected to be even cheaper up to Christmas,” she told Ritzau in a comment.

Consumer prices in Denmark in November were 3.4 percent higher than 12 months prior on average, the biggest increase over a year since 2008.

The price index accounts for foods and various consumer goods and services ranging from electricity to airline tickets.

Potential Christmas presents like board games, toys and hobby materials are a little cheaper than in 2020, with clothes slightly pricier. Books have also become slightly cheaper.

“But book prices are very variable and statistics are very dependent on what is on the bestseller list from on month to the next,” Hansen said.

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Danish stores got surprisingly busy on Black Friday

Online and retail trade in Denmark has recently experienced a tough few months, with consumer confidence in the economy at a record low and declining sales. But on Friday, the pessimism apparently subsided.

Danish stores got surprisingly busy on Black Friday

Both online and brick-and-mortar stores registered surprisingly good sales numbers, according to what Niels Ralund, director of e-commerce at Dansk Erhverv, told the news agency Ritzau.

“We believe that Black Friday was roughly (at) the same (level) as last year, and that is actually quite good.

“Toys have done fantastically well, books have done badly, and electronics are at the same level as last year,” Ralund added.

The payment service MobilePay also reports a lot of traffic on Black Friday.

“We ended up with a solid record day for MobilePay on Black Friday… However, the first four days of Black Week were at an even higher level because the stores have been very aggressive with good offers,” Lars Green, the commercial manager for MobilePay Online, stated in a written comment.

On Friday, goods worth a total of 881 million kroner were purchased via MobilePay in Danish stores, making the total purchase volume 19 percent higher than on Black Friday last year.