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Fast Comment NorwayRetail spending fell by 0.4 percent in June, significantly weaker than expected

  1. Retail sales fell by 0.4 percent in June, well below expectations...
  2. ...we and consensus expected +0.7 and +0.5 percent, respectively
  3. Still a rebound in Q2, due to a sharp increase in April; outcome still more modest than expected
Retail sales fell by 0.4 percent in June; we and consensus expected +0.7 and +0.5 percent, respectively
Retail spending fell by 0.4 percent m-o-m in June, well below expectations. We and consensus had forecast a rise of 0.7 and 0.5 percent, respectively. The decline in June followed a sharper decrease in May, of -1.4 percent. April saw a solid gain, however, of 2.0 percent, and thus the outcome for Q2 was still positive; spending rose by about 0.9 percent q-o-q, following zero percent growth in Q1. This implies retail spending has supported a bounce-back in GDP growth in Q2, following what was a temporary slowdown in Q1 (primarily explained by temporary factors). However, if anything, the rebound in retail spending in Q2 was more modest than anticipated by market participants. The average pace for H1 2019 was 0.4 percent q-o-q, which gives a modest annualised pace of 1.7 percent. In summary, the current state of the real economy is robust indeed, and for the moment, the Norwegian economy is escaping the slowdown seen elsewhere across its trading partners. However, the overall performance in Q2 may not have been as solid as previously expected.


Disclaimer

Marius Gonsholt Hov

Senior Economist

Norway

maho60@handelsbanken.no

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