Norway's Q4 GDP Growth Higher Than Expected (Reuters)
Last Modified: 02:21 AM, Fri Feb 08, 2019
08 February 2019

Word Count: 175

The Norwegian economy grew more rapidly than expected in the fourth quarter, further raising the probability of a central bank interest rate hike next month. Norway's mainland economy, which excludes volatile changes to offshore oil and gas production, grew by 0.9% in the final three months of 2018, Statistics Norway said today. Analysts had expected a 0.7% increase. The central bank raised interest rates last year for the first time since 2011 and plans a further five hikes by the end of 2021, with one scheduled to take place in March. In 2018, mainland growth stood at 2.2%, up from 2.0% in 2017, Statistics Norway said. Mainland growth for the third quarter was revised to 0.4% from 0.3% reported initially.

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OSLO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Norwegian economy grew more rapidly than expected in the fourth quarter, further raising the probability of a central bank interest rate hike next month.

Norway's mainland economy, which excludes volatile changes to offshore oil and gas production, grew by 0.9 percent in the final three months of 2018, Statistics Norway said on Friday. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 0.7 percent increase.

The central bank raised interest rates last year for the first time since 2011 and plans a further five hikes by the end of 2021, with one scheduled to take place in March.

In 2018, mainland growth stood at 2.2 percent, up from 2.0 percent in 2017, Statistics Norway said.

Mainland growth for the third quarter was revised to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent reported initially.

Norway's crown currency strengthened on the news, trading at 9.7427 to the euro at 0712 GMT against 9.7502 just ahead of the 0700 GMT release. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis and Catherine Evans)

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Creditline: Reuters
Slugline: NORWAY-ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 1)