Denmark’s Economic Growth Slows Down as Consumers Curb Spending

Denmark’s economy grew at a slightly slower pace last quarter after consumers reined in their spending and as investments fell.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent in the first quarter from 0.5 percent in the fourth, the statistics office in Copenhagen said on Friday.

Consumer spending grew 0.7 percent, compared with 1.2 percent in the three months through December. Fixed investment slumped 2.6 percent, after growing 2.1 percent in the previous period.

The GDP report comes just two days after Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called an early election for June 18. Her Social Democrat-led administration raised its economic forecast this week and promised to increase welfare spending by almost $6 billion if she’s given a second term.

Polls have shown Thorning-Schmidt’s chances of re-election are growing. Her two-party coalition and its allies in parliament would get 49.4 percent voter support, compared with 50.6 percent for the opposition bloc, according to a Greens poll published by newspaper Borsen.