Norway’s economic recovery stayed on track in the third quarter, helped by growth in tourism, retail sales and other service industries, data showed on Tuesday.
The turnaround in 2017 follows a two-year slump that began as oil companies cut investment and laid off thousands of workers following a drop in the price of crude, Norway’s leading export.
Mainland gross domestic product, which excludes oil and shipping, grew by 0.6 percent between July to September from the previous quarter, compared with expectations for 0.5 percent in a Reuters poll, Statistics Norway said.
Growth for the second quarter was revised down to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent..
“This was another data point showing the Norwegian economy has put the oil crisis behind it, and is developing well,” Nordea Markets economist Erik Bruce said.
“Growth is in line with the central bank’s expectations … and employment perhaps even a bit stronger.”
The Norwegian crown initially strengthened against the euro following the data release, but the rally quickly subsided and the local currency traded flat at around 9.5257 by 0721 GMT.
Earlier on Tuesday, a quarterly index showed consumer confidence rising to its highest level in more than three years, continuing a rebound from 24-year lows plumbed in early 2016.
“Overall, Norwegian households remain optimistic, probably as a result of declining unemployment, rising oil prices and expectations of continued low interest rates,” DNB Markets wrote.
The survey, released by financial lobby group Finance Norway (FNO) and the Kantar TNS institute, showed a mixed outlook for some regions however, where a recent drop in house prices weighed on prospects for consumer spending.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg, writing by Terje Solsvik; editing by John Stonestreet)