Helge Pedersen, the firm’s global chief economist, expects the Nordic countries to achieve combined economic growth of 1% in 2013, followed by expansions of 1.9% and 2.1% in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
But while Norway was the region’s main engine of economic growth in 2012, Pedersen says increasingly-apparent weaknesses in the country’s housing market have prompted Nordea to downgrade its 2013 and 2014 forecasts (see table).
In contrast, the firm expects Sweden’s economy to accelerate from the second half of this year, with exports picking-up as the European recovery continues.
Coupled with expansionary economic policies targeted mainly at households in the election year of 2014, Pedersen predicts Sweden will become the fastest-growing Nordic economy, for the first time since 2011.
Denmark and Finland lag
Nordea expects lower growth rates in Denmark and Finland, but forecasts economic expansions for both countries in 2014 and 2015.
In Denmark, Pedersen says rising disposable incomes and consumer confidence pave the way for increased consumption, while investment and exports are also likely to grow.
Finland will benefit from an upturn in export demand, he adds, although a worsening employment picture will “keep the brakes firmly on” consumption.
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