Denmark’s consumers now turning sour, too

23. October 2019, 10:59 Uhr

For quite some time, Denmark’s economy and its consumers in particular have resisted the gloom continually encompassing the global economy. Industrial production as much as retail sales have withstood the downturn that has befallen many European countries, with German consumers the latest to display some reticence in spending as freely as they did before. As yet, only the Dutch have been as resilient as the Danish.

Now, households in Denmark have caught the global flu, too. The headline index of the official gauge of consumers sentiment has dropped to its lowest in three years and below the levels seen in last December when global markets were rocked (see chart). Specifically, the Danish expect their households’ financial situation to worsen and begin to retrench on major purchases such as cars, household goods, etc.

Denmark thus simply follows the example of other Scandinavian economies, if belatedly: All of them are small, open economies very dependent on global demand for their products and lively trade in general. Hence, they stand to take an even bigger hit should protectionism and Brexit uncertainty persist.