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Denmark’s Retail Sales Gain in Sign Economy May Be Stabilizing

Danish retail sales rose on an annual basis in July, adding to signs the economy is stabilizing after the euro-area emerged from its longest recession.

Retail sales gained an annual 0.1 percent in July, compared with a revised 1.9 percent drop the previous month, Copenhagen-based Statistics Denmark said on its website today. Sales fell 0.6 percent in the month, missing the 0.5 percent increase estimated by three economists in a Bloomberg survey.

“Retail sales are flat at a low level,” Helge Pedersen, the Copenhagen-based chief economist at Nordea Bank AB, said in a note to clients. “It’s another indication the Danish economy is stabilizing.”

Germany, which accounted for about 15 percent of Danish exports last year, grew faster than expected last quarter as the euro-area ended a record-long recession. Denmark’s krone is pegged to the euro at a rate of 7.46038.

Denmark’s record household indebtedness has prompted consumers to reduce spending, which accounts for half the nation’s $355 billion economy. Gross domestic product didn’t grow in the first quarter and shrank 0.6 percent in the final three months of last year, the statistics office estimates.

Danes consumed more food, while clothing and shoe sales dropped as summer sales were early and hot weather kept consumers out of stores, Rasmus Gudum-Sessingoe, an economist at Svenska Handelsbanken in Copenhagen, said in a note.

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