Norway: Economy returns to growth in February
Economic output increased 0.7% over the prior month in seasonally-adjusted terms in February—the strongest reading in five months—contrasting the 1.6% decline recorded in January. Meanwhile, the economy contracted 1.7% in the rolling quarter of December–February relative to the previous quarter (September–November). This fall was more significant when compared to the 1.3% contraction logged in November–January.
Mainland GDP—which excludes hydrocarbon extraction and related services—also expanded at the quickest pace in five months in February, with growth coming in at 0.5%. This was an improvement from January’s 0.9% contraction. In the rolling quarter of December–February, the mainland economy declined 0.7% from the previous rolling quarter (September–November), deteriorating from the 0.2% growth recorded in November–January.
Domestically, the upturn was spearheaded by private consumption returning to growth, which came in at 1.6% in seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms in February, contrasting January’s 3.2% decline. Moreover, government spending also rebounded, although growth was marginal at 0.1% (January: -0.1% s.a. mom). Lastly, fixed investment contracted at a markedly softer pace of 0.6% in February, improving from January’s 5.4% decline.
Turning to the external sector, exports of goods and services swung to a 4.4% expansion in February, contrasting January’s 8.4% fall. Similarly, imports of goods and services rebounded to a 3.3% increase (January: -2.5% s.a. mom).