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Exports threatened by labour shortage

Despite a decline in exports, prospects for 2017 are good - if companies can obtain the necessary workers.
Exports fell by 1.8 per cent in April. However, exports during the first quarter are still up by 5.8 per cent compared to the same months last year, shows new data on foreign trade and balance of payments issued by Statistics Denmark.
 
“Exports have not got off to the desired start in 2017, but have nonetheless been increasing nicely over the course of the past year. Demand overseas is on the rise, especially in Europe, which accounts for the majority of our exports. We therefore expect increasing exports in the coming period, and that 2017 will be a good year for Danish exports,” says Deputy Director Kent Damsgaard, the Confederation of Danish Industry.
 
Global growth was at a mere 3.0 per cent last year, the lowest rate since the financial crisis. In a new prognosis from the OECD, global growth is expected to increase by 3.5 per cent in 2017 and 3.6 per cent in 2018.
 
“Fortunately, the global economy is again picking up speed. There are, however, still many uncertainties that could derail growth in the global economy, for example if Donald Trump further turns away from international cooperation and makes serious of his protectionist pronouncements. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is also still significant. But right now, growth in our exports markets is looking good,” says Kent Damsgaard.
 
The lack of qualified workers does, however, threaten to slow down growth.
 
“775,000 Danish jobs depend on our companies’ sales abroad. A rise in exports will increase the need for more talented workers in our export companies and their many sub-suppliers. However, growing difficulties attracting skilled employees may unfortunately cause companies to miss out on new orders,” says Kent Damsgaard.
Demand overseas is on the rise, especially in Europe, which accounts for the majority of our exports.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR KENT DAMSGAARD, THE CONFEDERATION OF DANISH INDUSTRY
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PUBLISHED: 6/15/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 6/15/2017