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Norwegian unemployment falls more than expected in January

Norwegian unemployment dropped more than expected in the month of January, clearly on the solid side to Norges Bank. Registered unemployment including those on labor market measures dropped on a seasonally adjusted basis by 2700 persons in January after a fall of 400 in December. Nordea Bank had anticipated a fall of 1000 persons, while the central bank had expected just 500. The unadjusted rate came in at 2.6 percent, as compared with consensus expectations of 2.7 percent.

Unemployment in Norway appears to develop far stronger than the central bank’s forecast again. This is probably the single most significant measure for capacity utilization and strengthens the view that the Norwegian economy is tightening faster than the central bank expects.

Over the past year, unemployment has been reduced by 1000-1300 persons on average per month. After a slightly smaller drop in December, there were some uncertainties whether the downward trend was coming to a stop. However, the data released today imply otherwise, stated Nordea Bank.

Norges Bank’s projection suggested a fall of around 500 people through the first quarter before unemployment is likely to level out. This is the same type of projection that has had the last reports.

“They have notoriously been wrong, and we think they are wrong again. With growth picking up from last year, we see no reason why unemployment should stop falling anytime soon”, added Nordea Bank.

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