Weaker growth prospects
Contacts in Norges Bank's regional network reported fairly moderate output growth over the past 3 months. Growth was expected to be approximately unchanged ahead. Growth prospects were somewhat weaker than in August.
Output growth was slightly lower than expected by contacts in the previous survey.Lower activity in the petroleum sector in particular had a dampening effect on overall growth. The oil industry supplier sector reported a moderate decline in production volumes. At the same time, some growth in housing construction and rising public sector investment has helped to support overall growth.
Growth prospects were somewhat weaker, primarily driven by lower demand from the petroleum sector.Weakest growth ahead was still envisaged bymanufacturing, and the oil supplier industry expected a further decline in output over the next 6 months. Both services and retail trade expected approximately unchanged growth ahead, but prospects were lower than in the previous survey. Construction was the only sector in which growth prospects were revised up.
Capacity utilisation showed little change overall. However, firms reported that the supply of qualified labour has improved. Employment growth has been weak, and weaker than contacts expected in August. Contacts expected little change in employment levels ahead.
Contacts expected annual wage growth to be slightly below 3¼ percent in 2015. There were slight differences in wage estimates across sectors.
In this survey, information was provided by 324 regional network contacts. The interviews were largely conducted in October.
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