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Fast Comment NorwayRetail sales down by 0.4 percent in January, weaker than expected

  1. Retail sales down by 0.4 percent in January, below market expectations
  2. Still, a net positive development over the past three months...
  3. ...although we must admit the pace has been weaker than expected
Retail sales at -0.4 percent in Jan, following -1.1 percent in Dec and +2.3 percent in Nov
Retail sales declined by 0.4 percent m-o-m in January, following -1.1 percent in December and +2.3 percent in November. The outcome for January was weaker than expected, as we and consensus had forecast retail sales at +0.6 and +0.4 percent, respectively. On net, this implies a still positive performance over the past three months, although we must admit developments have been softer than expected. Going forward, we continue to expect retail spending to climb higher, buoyed by solid employment growth, rising real wages and elevated consumer confidence. Additionally, we still do not see any evidence that the housing market slowdown of 2017 has deteriorated consumer sentiment. That said, the expected uptrend should not be overstated. For starters, most of the increase in retail spending over the past year happened during the first half of 2017, whereas developments have softened over the past few months. Secondly, even though real wage growth is positive, the figure is still tame compared to past standards and longer-run real wage expectations among the social partners, which we can read from Norges Bank’s Expectations Survey, are still modest.


Marius Gonsholt Hov

Senior Economist


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Morgenrapport Norge


Fast Comment Norway


Morgenrapport Norge