Nordic Economies Economic Outlook May 2018

Economic Snapshot for the Nordic Economies

Nordic Economies: Economic Snapshot for the Nordic Economies

May 2, 2018

Denmark: Robust household consumption, buoyed by higher wage growth as well as prolonged low interest rates and inflation, should buttress the expansion this year, while high global growth should support industrial activity and the external sector. However, elevated household debt will keep weighing on spending, and the tight labor market risks leading to shortages of skilled workers in the medium-term. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP to expand 1.8% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s estimate. For 2019, the panel projects growth of 1.9%.


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Finland: This year, economic growth is expected to weaken but strong private consumption should help cushion the slowdown. Moreover, accommodative monetary policy and high business confidence should support fixed investment. The government’s ongoing fiscal consolidation will constrain public consumption growth, however. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP growth of 2.5% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.2% in 2019.


Norway: Economic activity is expected to pick up this year, driven by healthy external conditions that should prompt higher demand for exports, particularly oil and gas. The mainland economy, however, could be weighed down by falling house prices and softening residential investment. Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists expect total GDP to expand 2.0% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.0% again in 2019. Mainland GDP is expected to grow 2.3% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month, and 2.2% in 2019.


Sweden: Growth should remain solid in the coming year, as the strong global dynamics boosts exports. A tight labor market should support healthy wage growth, while a more expansionary fiscal stance is expected to further buttress economic activity. The main downside risk in the short-term is the weak housing market, which is likely to slide further this year. This would hurt fixed investment growth as the construction sector cools down, and reduce spending by households, which have a high level of mortgage debt. Met the why particular panelists see GDP rising 2.7% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.2% in 2019. 


Iceland: Economic activity is expected to moderate slightly this year as the tourism boom wanes and exports weaken. Private consumption growth will also soften somewhat but will be the key driver of growth going forward. Our panelists expect GDP to rise 3.4% in 2018, which is down 0.1% percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% in 2019.


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