Nordic Outlook March 2018

Economic and financial trends from the Nordic countries, prepared by Danske Bank's analysts.

Denmark: Still a little more to come
- Judging from the latest figures, the Danish recovery is slightly disappointing.

Sweden: Consumers next to feel the heat
- Drop in house prices will depress construction, and the risk is that it will lead to a drop in consumer spending.

Norway: Rate hike inching closer
- Growth is becoming more self-sustained, inflation is heading up and so are interest rates.

: Rising employment lifts spirits
- The strong recovery in 2017 looks set to continue, although at a slightly slower pace.

A mixed picture at home and abroad. Not all recoveries are the same.

The recovery continues both in the world economy and in the Nordic countries but with a few more reservations than three months ago when we published Nordic Outlook – January 2018 on 5 January. In the euro area especially, growth indicators have turned a little less upbeat recently, partly reflecting the weight of a stronger euro on businesses. The risk of a trade war has increased, which is not good news for small open economies, even if the argument is mainly between the US and China.

In Denmark, a range of indicators has turned out on the disappointing side. In Sweden, the decline in house prices looks as though it is continuing, which, in our view, will definitely hurt construction and might hurt consumers as well. Finland has revised the very strong 2017 growth numbers down a little but is otherwise continuing its robust recovery. Norway has few signs of weakness in its current cycle, especially as the housing market is looking more stable and more balanced.

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