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Denmark: Economy#

This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, advanced industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food, oil, and gas and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterized by extensive government welfare measures and an equitable distribution of income. An aging population will be a major long-term issue.

Denmark is a member of the EU; Danish legislation and regulations conform to EU standards on almost all issues. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union, Denmark has negotiated an opt-out with the EU and is not required to adopt the euro. Within the EU, Denmark is among the strongest supporters of trade liberalization.

After a long consumption-driven upswing, Denmark's economy began slowing in 2007 with the end of a housing boom. Housing prices dropped markedly in 2008-09 but, with significant regional differences, have since recovered. Household indebtedness is still relatively high at more than 305% of net disposable income in 2014, while household net worth - from private pension schemes and other assets - amounted to 546% of net disposable income.

The global financial crisis exacerbated this cyclical slowdown by increasing domestic borrowing costs and lowering foreign demand for Danish exports. Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit in 2009. The structural budget deficit has remained below 1% and is estimated at -0.4% in 2016. Denmark is experiencing a lackluster economic recovery, having still not regained the GDP level of 2008. GDP contracted in 2012 and 2013, followed by real growth of 1.3% in 2014, and 1.2% in 2015. The government projects 1.9% growth in 2016, while private sector estimates are about 1% growth. A historically low level of unemployment rose with the economic downturn but the labor market has strengthened since 2013, and unemployment stood at about 4.5% in early 2016, based on the national measure. Productivity growth was significantly below the OECD average in 2012–2014.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$264.8 billion (2016 est.)
$262.2 billion (2015 est.)
$259.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$302.6 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$46,600 (2016 est.)
$46,300 (2015 est.)
$46,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving26.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 47.5%
government consumption: 25.6%
investment in fixed capital: 18.9%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 50.8%
imports of goods and services: -43.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 1.1%
industry: 23.4%
services: 75.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsbarley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish
Industriesiron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical eq
Industrial production growth rate0.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force2.825 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.6%
industry: 20.3%
services: 77.1% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate4.2% (2016 est.)
4.6% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line13.4% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 28.7% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index24.8 (2011 est.)
24.7 (1992)
Budgetrevenues: $156.9 billion
expenditures: $164.5 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues51.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt39.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
40.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as int
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.4% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.75% (31 December 2011)
0.75% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.42% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$148.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$151.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$181.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$189.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$619.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$632.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$224.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$179.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$231.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance$20.34 billion (2016 est.)
$20.75 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$93.6 billion (2016 est.)
$95.97 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills
Exports - partnersGermany 17.8%, Sweden 11.6%, US 8.4%, Norway 6.3%, UK 6.3%, Netherlands 4.4%, China 4.2% (2015)
Imports$82.29 billion (2016 est.)
$85.02 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partnersGermany 20.4%, Sweden 12.3%, Netherlands 8.1%, China 7.3%, Norway 6.1%, UK 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$61.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$65.19 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$484.8 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$519.8 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$135.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$133.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$242.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$239.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesDanish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -
6.865 (2016 est.)
6.7236 (2015 est.)
6.7236 (2014 est.)
5.6125 (2013 est.)
5.79 (2012 est.)