Regional Network: Growth has slowed
According to Regional Network contacts, growth in the business sector has slowed through autumn after solid activity this summer. Contacts expect lower activity in the period ahead, but a gradual improvement towards spring. They describe uncertainty as lower than in spring, but still unusually high, and developments ahead will depend largely on infection rates and prevailing containment measures.
The overall level of activity over the past three months is little changed compared with the preceding three-month period. Growth has been dampened by lower activity in household services, construction, the export industry and export-oriented oil services. Domestically-oriented oil services, retail trade and commercial services have experienced some growth.
Contacts expect higher public investment to boost growth, while private sector investment will continue to decline. Contacts believe that travel restrictions and stricter containment measures will weigh on activity in household services, but will at the same time lead to high goods consumption. Owing to steadily worsening infection rates globally, many contacts believe that export markets will take a long time to normalise. Overall, Regional Network contacts expect a broadly unchanged activity level over the next six months.
Enterprises have increased their workforces somewhat through autumn, but expect a slight decline in employment in the period ahead. The estimate for annual wage growth is 1.9 percent in 2020 and 2.4 percent for 2021.
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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.