Slightly lower output growth, higher employment growth
Contacts in Norges Bank's regional network reported that overall output growth over the past 3 months was slightly weaker than in the previous round. Variations across industries were wider than in May. Market prospects were revised down slightly on the previous round. Overall, contacts expected growth to remain approximately unchanged over the coming six months.
Activity rose most in the oil supplier industry, construction and commercial services. Growth in domestically oriented manufacturing was still weak and had slowed since the previous round. Export industry growth had picked up, particularly in the petroleum-related export industry. Construction and household services expected growth to pick up ahead, while commercial services anticipated somewhat lower growth in the next six months. Other industries expected growth to remain approximately unchanged ahead.
Investment plans had been revised down somewhat from May, but all industries reported plans to increase investment over the next 12 months. Overall capacity utilisation showed little change from May. The share of contacts reporting labour market tightness had increased in the private sector, particularly in the construction industry. Growth in employment had nonetheless picked up and had been slightly stronger than network contacts expected in May. Employment growth was expected to be somewhat slower ahead.
Contacts estimated annual wage growth in 2012 at a little over 4 percent, slightly higher than in the previous round. Estimates were lowest in retail trade and highest in services.
In this round, 318 regional network enterprises provided information. Interviews were conducted in September.
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