Norway: Economic activity bounces back in April
Economic output increased 0.3% over the prior month in seasonally-adjusted terms in April, which contrasted the 0.3% decline recorded in March. Meanwhile, the economy contracted 1.0% in the rolling quarter of February–April relative to the previous quarter (November–January), worsening from January–March’s 0.6% decline.
Mainland GDP—which excludes hydrocarbon extraction and related transport—expanded 0.3% over the prior month in April, swinging from the 0.4% drop recorded in March. In the rolling quarter of February–April, the mainland economy shrank 1.0% from the previous rolling quarter (November–January), thus matching the contraction logged in January–March.
Domestically, April’s improvement was led by a rebound in government spending (April: +0.9% mom; March: -0.2% mom), while fixed investment expanded at a stronger rate (April: +3.7% mom; March: +2.1% mom). However, private consumption declined at a slightly faster pace over the prior month (April: -0.7% mom; March: -0.6% mom). Meanwhile, the external sector supported overall GDP growth in April, with exports swinging to a solid expansion (April: +4.7% mom; March: -0.7% mom), while import growth slowed down (April: +0.1% mom; March: +0.7% mom).
The overall reading came amid an accelerating domestic vaccine rollout, a decrease in daily infection rates and the easing of restrictions from mid-April. Economic activity should have continued to firm later in the second quarter, supported by the ongoing vaccination drive and the gradual lifting of restrictive measures. However, looking further ahead, lingering uncertainty over the evolution of the pandemic and new variants of the virus cloud the outlook.