Somewhat lower output growth, higher rise in prices
The enterprises in Norges Bank’s regional network reported that overall output growth slowed slightly over the past 3 months. Household demand was somewhat weaker than expected. Some industries reported that the long period of cold weather had curbed activity somewhat. Network contacts expect growth to edge up ahead and are slightly more optimistic than in January.
In particular, retail trade and the household services sector noted lower output growth in this round. Growth picked up in the export and construction industries, but at a slower pace than the contacts envisaged in January. Output growth is expected to show the strongest increase in the construction industry and retail trade in the period ahead.
Employment growth has been solid over the past 3 months. Growth has been somewhat stronger than expected, particularly in manufacturing and services. Employment is expected to expand at a somewhat slower pace over the next 3 months.
The estimate for wage growth in 2011 has been revised up by a half percentage point to 4 per cent. Several centrally negotiated settlements have been higher than the enterprises anticipated in January.
The rise in prices has picked up, particularly in commercial industries. Manufacturing, construction and commercial services reported a higher rate of increase in prices than in the previous round.
In this round, 294 regional network enterprises have submitted reports. The interviews were conducted in April and May.
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