Danish export continues to impress

Despite the US-Chinese trade war, global Danish trading expanded in 2018. Danish export has grown over 200 % over the last 30 years, Danske Bank economist Bjørn Tangaa Sillemann explains.

Danish export was up 0,8 % last year, while income volumes ended 2,8 % higher, new numbers from Statistics Denmark show. 

The overall Danish economy is in the middle of a long lasting recovery, and growing import is the proof. The mix of rising employment, low rates and higher wages has made Danes more likely to speed up their spending, also in terms of imported goods. A 0,8 % growth in export may not seem stunning, but behind the small overall figure you’ll find notable growth in important markets such as Germany (+1,9 %) and France (+6,9 %).

It is true that 2018 export in a whole was slightly disappointing, but the reasons are few and not very likely to be repeated in 2019: a long and hot Danish summer caused a bad harvest, and the oil and gas output from the North Sea was below normal.

Denmark has a long and proud tradition for international trading. The overall Danish foreign trade – imports and exports put together – is huge and the actually exceeds the Danish total GDP. That’s remarkable and much more than our peers in the Nordic region and Germany.

Bjørn Tangaa Sillemann

Economist, Danske Bank

He sees Danish export as a regular story of success with its 217 % growth in the 30 years span from 1988-2017. The numbers do take into account the general inflation and higher wages during the decades. 


Total Danish foreign trade exceeds Danish GDP (100%)

 
Sources: Danmarks Statistik, Macrobond, Danske Bank 


2019 to outperform 2018

Danske Bank expects 2019 to outperform 2018 in terms of foreign trade.

”We believe in a 2,7 % Danish export growth in 2019. USA and China are likely to negotiate a new trade agreement during the first six months, and at the same time German economy is moving upwards following a tough 2018, where the vital car industry was put under pressure due to more and tougher regulation. Both things are beneficial for Danish export,” says Bjørn Tangaa Sillemann.