Regional network: Continued weak growth
The contacts in Norges Bank's regional network reported weak output growth over the past 3 months. Growth expectations for the period ahead have declined slightly since May, and contacts expected virtually unchanged activity levels ahead.
Network contacts reported weak output growth, in line with expectations in May. Output has fallen at a faster pace in the oil service sector and commercial services. Growth has fallen in construction, particularly in areas affected by the decline in the petroleum industry. At the same time, a weak krone has boosted competitiveness and growth in traditional manufacturing. Household-oriented industries reported a slight pickup in growth.
Growth expectations for the period ahead have declined slightly since May, and contacts expected virtually unchanged activity levels over the next 6 months. The fall in oil prices and lower activity in the petroleum industry have weakened growth prospects in most sectors, but retail trade and the export industry expected continued moderate growth.
Enterprises reported that capacity utilisation has fallen to its lowest level since the series began in 2005. The share of enterprises reporting that labour supply was a constraint on further output growth continued to decline. Contacts reported that the level of employment has remained stable and they expected an unchanged level ahead. Network contacts overall estimated annual wage growth of about 2¾ percent, unchanged from the previous survey.
In this survey, information was provided by 322 regional network contacts. The interviews were conducted in August.
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