Lower growth in the business sector
According to Regional Network contacts, growth has slowed through autumn, primarily owing to lower retail sales and postponements of transport development projects. In addition, oil sector demand is increasing less than previously. Enterprises expect growth to continue to slow slightly ahead.
During the three autumn months, activity increased by an annual rate of 2.1%, down from 3.0% in summer. Developments have been weaker than enterprises envisaged in August. Growth has slowed in all sectors, but most in retail trade, construction, domestically-oriented manufacturing and domestically-oriented oil services.
Enterprises expect growth to continue to decline slightly in the next six months. The construction and domestically-oriented oil service industries expect the most pronounced slowdowns. A number of contacts describe economic prospects as more uncertain than one year ago. Even though the number of contacts that expect to be directly affected by the trade tensions between the US and China is relatively small, a number of contacts are more concerned about contagion effects from global trade turbulence.
Capacity utilisation has shown little change since the previous survey, while segments of the labour market have tightened. Employment growth has slowed slightly in most sectors. Contacts expect annual wage growth of 3.1% for 2019 and 3.2% for 2020.
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On a quarterly basis, Norges Bank surveys executives from over 400 enterprises and organisations about recent economic developments and the outlook ahead.