Danish Growth Saved in First Quarter by Inventory Build-Up

Denmark’s economic expansion was saved in the first quarter of the year by a build up in inventories.

Danish output expanded at a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent, twice as fast as estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The annual rate was 2.2 percent, according to preliminary data from Statistics Denmark.

Private consumption, which accounts for almost half of economic output, rose 0.3 percent on the quarter while exports dropped less than imports. Inventories contributed 0.7 percentage point to growth.

"Strong on the surface but soft inside," Nordea AB chief analyst Jan Storup Nielsen said of the data, noting that there would have been a contraction without the growth in inventories.

Denmark on Tuesday raised its forecast for this year’s economic growth and predicted it will borrow less via bond markets as the public deficit shrinks. Gross domestic product is set to expand 1.7 percent this year, faster than the 1.5 percent it forecast just last month, the Economy Ministry estimated.

In its latest forecasts, the European Commission said it expected Denmark’s economy to grow 1.7 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2018, slightly less than the 1.9 percent average for the European Union seen in both years. Sweden will be the Nordic region’s fastest-growing economy, with the commission predicting 2.6 percent expansion this year and 2.2 percent in 2018.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.