Somewhat stronger growth in production, improved market prospects
The contact enterprises in Norges Bank's regional network reported that growth in production had edged up over the past 3 months. Growth prospects were revised up from the previous round. Overall, network contacts expected approximately unchanged production growth over the coming 6 months, although with continued wide variations across industries.
Activity increased most in the oil supplier industry and in commercial services. Growth in domestically oriented manufacturing and the export industry was still weak, albeit somewhat higher than in the previous round. Manufacturing and construction expected growth to pick up ahead, while commercial services expected somewhat lower growth in the coming 6 months.
The share of network contacts reporting capacity constraints has increased. Planned levels of investment have been revised up somewhat since January, and moderate growth in investment is planned for the coming 12 months. Recruiting workers, particularly in the construction industry, seems to have become more difficult. Nevertheless, growth in employment is holding up and has been slightly stronger than network contacts expected in January. Growth in employment is expected to remain approximately unchanged ahead.
Network contacts estimated annual wage growth in 2012 at 4 percent, slightly higher than the estimate in the previous round. Estimates were lowest in manufacturing and retail trade and highest in construction, services and the public sector.
In this round, 313 regional network enterprises provided information for the report. The interviews were conducted in April and May.
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