Denmark: Preliminary estimate shows economic growth softened in the fourth quarter
The economy grew 0.2% in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms in Q4 2019, easing from the 0.5% expansion registered in the third quarter (previously reported: +0.3% quarter-on-quarter), according to Statistics Denmark’s first GDP estimate. Meanwhile, in year-on-year terms, the economy grew 1.8% in Q4, down from Q3’s upwardly revised 2.6% expansion (previously reported: +2.3% year-on-year).
The weaker outturn in the fourth quarter was mainly owing to a drop in exports of goods and services, which declined 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, contrasting the third quarter’s 1.0% expansion. Meanwhile, imports of goods and services were flat in Q4, down from the third quarter’s 0.3% expansion.
On the domestic front, private consumption growth accelerated to 1.3% in Q4 from Q3’s 0.4% increase. Moreover, government consumption also picked up pace, expanding 0.9% in Q4 (Q3: +0.2% qoq), while gross fixed capital formation rebounded 0.5% (Q3: -0.1% qoq).
This year, economic growth should soften as subdued global trade is expected to weigh heavily on the shipping sector—which makes up roughly half of Denmark’s exports of services. That being said, exports of goods should be somewhat robust, buttressed by specialized exports such as pharmaceuticals and wind turbines, which are usually resilient to global economic volatility. Moreover, a tight labor market should continue to support household spending growth, while strong government consumption should also buttress growth.