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Norway reports grim prospects in manufacturing sector

Norway reports grim prospects in manufacturing sector

OSLO: Norwegian industrial managers reported negative expectations for the first quarter of 2016 in large parts of manufacturing and suggested a further decline in the business cycle, the country’s statistics bureau said on Thursday.

As for the general outlook for the first quarter of 2016, business leaders reported investment plans were adjusted downward and new orders and stocks of orders were expected to fall, according to a report on business tendency survey for manufacturing, mining and quarrying published by Statistics Norway.

Producers of investment goods are the most skeptical in relation to the first quarter, but manufacturers of intermediate goods are also pessimistic. Manufacturers of consumer goods are more optimistic and expect an increase in production and the supply of new orders.

The indicator of expected employment is negative for the first quarter of 2016, the report said.

Norwegian industrial managers reported a further downturn in the total output in the last quarter of 2015 as the continued weak trend among manufacturers of capital goods was driving the downturn.

The industrial confidence indicator in the fourth quarter of 2015 was minus 8.2, down from minus 7.6 in the previous quarter. This is below the historical average of 3.2.

Values above zero indicate that total output will grow, while values below zero indicate that total output will fall.

Average capacity utilization for Norwegian manufacturing was calculated to 76.5 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. This is the lowest level recorded since the third quarter of 2009, and is below the historical average of 80.4 percent.