(Adds details, comments from economists)
By Teis Jensen
COPENHAGEN, March 31 The Danish economy picked
up pace at the end of last year, prompting several economists to
raise their forecasts for 2017 with the proviso that labour
shortages risked putting a brake on expansion.
The national statistics office on Friday adjusted
fourth-quarter economic growth upwards to 2.3 percent
year-on-year from an earlier reading of 1.9 percent, primarily
due to stronger than expected exports. Denmark primarily exports
food, pharmaceuticals and machinery.
The latest figures took growth for 2016 overall to 1.3
percent and make it feasible that Denmark's gross domestic
product could grow by two percent or more in the current year,
Danske Bank's chief economist Las Olsen wrote.
Sydbank may also revisit its 1.6 percent growth forecast,
economist Soren Kristensen said.
"It definitely can't be ruled out that we'll see two percent
growth again in 2017, which would be the first time since the
financial crisis, and the highest growth in 11 years," he said.
There is growing concern in Denmark however that the upswing
could be dampened by a shortage of labour, particularly in the
construction industry. The government has said it will address
this issue with urgent reforms.
New unemployment figures on Friday indicated that a growing
number of newly arrived immigrants had been deemed ready to join
the workforce, which may help to ease the problem, Sydbank's
"Unfortunately, though, it is far from certain that it will
make the bottlenecks disappear as it is not certain the new
members of the work force have the skills the companies are
looking for," Kristensen added.
(Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Julie Astrid