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Fashion sales boost Denmark’s good retail trend

Retail sales in Denmark is continuing on the good trend.

Sales in October rose by 2.5 percent compared to last year and 0.5 percent to the previous month and the third quarter was 1.2 percent better than the second, adjusted for inflation and normal seasonal fluctuations.

Fashion sales was the best performer, but this may also have a negative effect on November.

In September ended retail sales with an almost flat trend of 0.1 per cent.

If Danish Statistics has calculated the adjustments  for price changes, normal seasonal fluctuations and the impact of trading days correct, retail sales in October was 0.5 per cent higher than in September. This is part of a growing trend as retail sales in October was at its highest level since May 2011.

”Sales in October were boosted by an increase in fashion sales of 1.9 percent which represent 10 percent of total sales. There was also a rise in sales of other consumer goods, mainly electronics, household equipment and leisure products, which totally account for 45 percent of total sales,” concludes Statistics Denmark.

The level of this product group is now the highest in five years. Sales of food and other groceries, which also is 45 percent. of total sales, rose 0.1 percent in October.

Set on an annual basis, total retail sales showed an increase of 2.1 percent this month.

Danish expectations for the economy over six months has been downward, but has increased from 3 in October to 5.6 in November. Consumer confidence is still significantly lower than a few months ago.
The low optimism can be traced in the country’s shops not selling flashy.

“Sales in the Danish stores have been slightly upward but have never fully recovered after the crisis setbacks. The Danes are starting to spend a little more money, but it is not enough to say the difficult times for the retail industry are over, “says economist Mira Lie Nielsen from Danish Chamber of Commerce.

There is also an explosion in e-commerce of clothes, shoes, books and electronics abroad, which helps to keep sales in the Danish shops down.

“We still believe that the economic growth in private consumption in Denmark will be positive, and today’s figures and a number of other economic indicators states that consumption is slowly moving upwards, but there is by no means a flashy speed on the Danish economy,” says Mira Lie Nielsen.

Chief Economist Jes Asmussen at Handelsbanken sees a risk, however, that retail sales in November may disappoint.

”It was primarily the fashion sales that pulled up in retail sales, and from here we see a certain risk that November will offer a more negative development. The month of November has been very warm, and thus there was no need to step up the winter wardrobe. The many sales that will hit in November together with Black Friday, however, can compensate for this, ” writes Asmussen  in a commentary.

He also states that November’s sales also lead to an advance of Christmas sales, which will lead to a more subdued development in December, which has been observed in previous years.

Danish retail index development, adjusted  for price changes, normal seasonal fluctuations and the impact of trading days.

Retail development Denmark

Source and figure: Danish Statistics

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