Norway's Consumer Confidence Hits Four-Year Low, But Better Than Feared
Norway's consumer confidence fell to a four-year low in the second quarter as the coronavirus outbreak caused a surge in unemployment and a sharp decline in oil prices, a survey by industry group Finance Norway (FNO) has shown.
Still, the decline was smaller than had been feared, most probably thanks to rapid intervention by authorities to aid the economy, FNO Chief Executive Idar Kreutzer said in a statement.
The seasonally adjusted index stood at minus 7.6 points in the May 7-14 survey, the weakest since the second quarter of 2016, down from a revised 4.7 points in the first quarter.
Norway's borders remain shut to most travel, though it has eased curbs since beginning a partial lockdown on March 12 to halt the spread of the virus, followed by interest rate cuts and extra fiscal spending.
"Expansive monetary policy and government support measures, in combination with powerful fiscal stimulus, probably made the decline in confidence more moderate than it would otherwise have been," Kreutzer said.
The price of crude oil, Norway's biggest source of export revenue, has fallen by half since the start of the year and the oil and gas industry has cut investment and other spending.