Norway Q3 GDP rises more than forecast as lockdown lifted

FILE PHOTO: Norwegian flags flutter at Karl Johans street in Oslo, Norway
FILE PHOTO: Norwegian flags flutter at Karl Johans street in Oslo, Norway, May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

November 19, 2021

OSLO (Reuters) – The Norwegian mainland economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the July-September quarter, accelerating from the early parts of 2021 as COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted, Statistics Norway (SSB) data showed on Friday.

Third-quarter mainland GDP, a measure which excludes oil and gas production, rose 2.6% compared with the April-June period, SSB said, while a Reuters poll of analysts had predicted an increase of 2.5%.

Norway began lifting its coronavirus lockdown measures in the second quarter and removed the final domestic restrictions by the end of September, allowing businesses to thrive and setting the stage for a sharp economic recovery.

“The growth in the third quarter is mainly due to service industries which have been hit hard during the pandemic,” SSB economist Paal Sletten said in a statement.

The Norwegian central bank in September raised interest rates for the first time in two years and plans a series of rate hikes in the coming years.

The second-quarter mainland GDP reading was revised to 1.1% from 1.4% originally.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)