Norway: Industrial production eases in December, but remains upbeat nonetheless
February 7, 2020
Industrial production increased a seasonally-adjusted 1.5% in December from the previous month, which was weaker than November’s downwardly revised 2.6% rise (previously reported: +3.7% month-on-month).
December’s increase was driven by a healthy expansion in the extraction and related services sector, which accounts for around 65% of industrial production in Norway, mainly due to state-owned Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup offshore oil and gas facility ramping up production. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector rebounded posting a slight rise over the previous month in December. That said, the electricity, gas and steam sector contracted at a sharper pace.
In annual working-day adjusted terms, industrial output increased 1.1% in December—the first expansion since December 2018—improving notably from the 0.9% fall in November. Meanwhile, the annual average change in industrial production was unchanged at minus 4.9% in December.
This year, industrial production will likely continue to strengthen as Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup powers the oil and gas sector. The mega-project is projected to provide a major boost to Norway’s energy sector in 2020, and will remain a key driver of industrial production over the next couple of years.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist