Norway: Industrial production falls for a second consecutive month in March
According to Statistics Norway, industrial production fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.7% from the previous month in March, more than February’s revised contraction of 0.5% (previously reported: 0.3% month-on-month). This represents the largest month-on-month contraction since October last year.
March’s poor reading came on the back of an output contraction in the extraction and related services sector—the largest industrial sector in Norway. Moreover, the electricity, gas and steam sector produced substantially less in March than in February, while output in the manufacturing sector decreased marginally.
In year-on-year terms, industrial production increased a tepid 0.2% in March, substantially less than February’s 1.8%. Annual average growth in industrial production ticked down to 2.3% in March from 2.4% in February.
Meanwhile, on 4 May, oil companies and employees struck a deal giving workers a 2.8% pay rise this year. This agreement comes on the back of a similar agreement among various private sector firms and employees earlier in April. All in all, these recent collective bargaining developments bode well for industrial production this year.