Norway’s economy shrank in August for the first time in four months, largely in line with the central bank’s outlook that projects an end of tightening in coming months.
(Bloomberg) — Norway’s economy shrank in August for the first time in four months, largely in line with the central bank’s outlook that projects an end of tightening in coming months.
Mainland gross domestic product, which excludes Norway’s offshore industry, contracted 0.2% from July when it had a similar-sized gain, according to data from the statistics office on Monday. Wholesale and retail trade contributed most to the fall, it said.
The median in a Bloomberg survey of six analysts forecast no change, while Norges Bank had projected a contraction of 0.1%.
The figures add to recent evidence of a gradual cooldown in the fossil-fuel-rich Nordic economy that had for a while brushed off the fallout from higher inflation and credit costs, helped by a strong labor market and windfall export gains. The rolling three-month growth for the June-to-August period was 0.2%, the office said.
While the central bank sees the economy slowing next year from 1.3% growth expected in 2023, it has flagged plans for one more quarter-point increase in borrowing costs to a peak rate of 4.5% before year-end, most likely in December.
“The outcome does not change the key impression of a stagnating economy,” Svenska Handelsbanken AB’s chief economist for Norway, Marius Gonsholt Hov, said in a note to clients. Inflation data for September is due on Tuesday and it would take “clear downside surprises” on those figures to “take the planned rate hike off the table,” he added.
–With assistance from Joel Rinneby.
(Updates with analyst comments in sixth paragraph.)
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