Denmark: Business sentiment slumps further in February
According to a survey conducted by Statistics Denmark, business confidence among firms in the industrial sector ticked down to minus 6 points in February from minus 5 points in January, inching further below the critical zero-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism in the sector.
The continued decline in confidence in the industrial sector was largely driven by firms’ less optimistic assessment of production, while stocks of finished goods rose higher in the month. On the flipside, firms were less pessimistic about new business inflows in February.
Turning to the other sectors of the economy, the construction sector also remained entrenched in pessimistic territory (February: -3 points; January: -3 points), and saw businesses’ hiring activity moderate in the month. In the services sector, confidence fell notably (February: +4 points; January: +7 points), largely due to a sharp drop in current revenue and lower expectations for future sales. The bright spot of the report was a surge in confidence in the retail sector, which had plunged in the prior month (February: +11 points; January: +4 points). Retail businesses were markedly more optimistic about current and expected revenue in February compared to the prior month.