Denmark: Severe capacity pressures
After years of strong expansion, the construction boom is now over and falling house prices have put an end to debt-financed consumption growth. As the impact of global financial turmoil materialises, exports are likely to remain weak during 2009, leading businesses to cut back investment.
Denmark enters the slowdown with severe capacity pressures and wages rising much faster than warranted by productivity growth. There is thus little need presently for fiscal demand stimulus, especially since monetary conditions are set to ease along with those of the euro area. Aggressive fiscal stimulus to keep unemployment at recent record-low levels would magnify the loss of competitiveness and, ultimately, challenge the stability of the fixed exchange rate regime. This would make it difficult to lower interest rates in line with cuts in the euro area.