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Norway March GDP points to recovery after Q1 contraction

·1-min read
A construction crane is seen along the skyline in Oslo

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's economy contracted in the first quarter amid coronavirus lockdowns, but growth resumed towards the end of the period, Statistics Norway (SSB) data showed on Friday.

Norway has scrapped its coronavirus curbs in recent months with most adults and many children now vaccinated."In March, the activity in the mainland economy was approximately back to the same level as in November, the month before the (latest) lockdown was introduced," SSB economist Paal Sletten said in a statement.

The January-March quarter saw a decline in mainland GDP of 0.6% compared with the October-December period, the statistics office said, more than the 0.5% drop predicted in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Mainland GDP, which excludes the often volatile impact of Norway's oil and gas production, is the most commonly watched measure of how the Norwegian economy is performing.

In March, the final month of the quarter, mainland GDP grew 1.0%, beating an average prediction of 0.8%.

The crown currency weakened slightly to trade at 10.23 against the euro at 0622 GMT, down from 10.21 just before the data release.

The central bank, which has raised rates three times since last September, plans seven more hikes by the end of 2023.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Nick Macfie)

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