Moderate output growth and improved market prospects
Norges Bank’s regional network contacts report that output has risen since the beginning of the year. The pace of output growth is expected to pick up somewhat over the next six months.
Activity has risen most in the export industry and retail trade. Output continued to fall in the oil industry and in building and construction, although the outlook for these two industries has improved significantly since February. Prospects ahead were reported to be weaker for domestically oriented manufacturing than for the other sectors.
As in the previous round, investment spending is expected to increase at a cautious pace ahead.
For the first time since 2008, network contacts reported that overall employment has edged up in the past three months. The turnaround is particularly marked in the building and construction industry, where further increases are planned. Manufacturing employment is expected to continue to fall.
The rise in prices has been moderate over the past 12 months, driven by domestically oriented industries, although a gentle rise in manufacturing prices was also reported. Overall, the rise in prices is expected to remain moderate over the next 12 months.
As in the previous round, annual wage growth in 2010 is expected to be 3½ per cent.
299 contact enterprises reported in this round. Interviews were conducted at the end of April and in the first half of May.
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