Danish retail sales down in december

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December was not a good month for retail sales i Denmark. Compared with the same month a year earlier, sales were 1,5 percent lower. A sign that consumer spending still fight with problems from the crisis, says analysts.
There were sold less food, clothing and other consumer goods. Clothing faced the worst drop, which declined by 1.8 percent. Food and other groceries fell 0.6 percent and other supplies were dropped by 0.3 percent.

2013 is the fifth year in a row that there is an annual fall. Compared to 2012, the annual sales were 1.7 percent lower in 2013.

The decline comes after a rise in November of 1 percent.

” Households have lost huge fortunes on the decline in housing prices, which began in 2008 and is still very far from rebuilding wealth – at least if we exclude pension savings , which of course is no money that can be used here and now”, private economist in Danish Bank, Las Olsen, says to Berlingske Tidende.

Changes in danish consumption habits have also played a role. More shopping
over internet, and trading in foreign webshops place themselves statistically in credit card sales and not retail.

Analysts are a little disappointed with the half end of 2013 since there has been rising real wages , tax cuts and large increases in consumer confidence .

“It shows that we still have to get the consumers into action. Consumers have the economy to increase their consumption, but the heavy focus on consolidation has taken hold. At the same time danes have increasingly been happier to shop on the internet. Both put pressure on retail, and it hits particularly hard in the province,” says chiefanalyst Mikkel Høegh of BRF Kredit to business.dk.
But optimism over retail sales in 2014 is still intact .