OSLO: If Norway’s central bank is consistent, it will cut rates at its next meeting. That’s what it’s done every time unemployment rose as much as it did this month.
Unemployment at 3.1 percent probably wouldn’t ruffle the feathers of policy makers in the U.S., Greece, Spain (or countless struggling economies). But we’re talking about a nation of 5.2 million people, so small that while it was becoming western Europe’s biggest oil producer, it had to import skilled labor from outside to help dig up all its petroleum.
Now, Brent crude is about $12 lower than last month, when Norges Bank signaled as much as a 70 percent chance of another cut this “autumn.”
Unemployment in July reached the highest level in more than four years, according to data released Friday by the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration. The level of unemployment rose by 2,500 people, the biggest jump since April 2009.