Reports 2013/53

Economic trends for Møre og Romsdal

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The economic development in the county of Møre og Romsdal is, like in the nation generally, marked by a moderate growth after an upturn in the Norwegian economy in 2011 and most of 2012. International growth is very weak and is still marked by the repercussions of the financial crisis and central government’s financial problems in many countries. The international economic downturn seems, however, to have stopped, and it is reason to expect a gradually but moderate upward trend in the economies among Norway’s trading partners, although from a low level. An increased cost-related competitive power in Norway, due to a weaker krone, may contribute to a growth in some sectors of the economy.

An increase in the Norwegian economy is probably still dependent on a positive development in the domestic demand. Low interest rates will still have positive effects on the domestic demand. From next year the fiscal policy is expected to give some stronger impulses to economic growth due to increased social benefits and tax stimulations leading to an increase in households’ consumption. The employment is still expected to increase, although not as much as in 2012.

The labour force is expected to grow approximately at the same level as the employment the years ahead. High labour immigration and higher labour participation of older employees contributes to small changes in the Norwegian unemployment rates, in spite of a stronger increase of employment towards 2016. A somewhat higher unemployment in 2013 and 2014 than in the previous two years contributes to a reduction of the real wage growth. Similar effects descend from higher inflation due to a weaker krone. The growth of households’ disposable income is expected to continue, although at a somewhat lower level than in the previous years. This will reduce the growth of the housing market the years ahead. Investments in the petroleum sector are still high, and are expected to remain high also the next years, but with lower growth rates.

The national manufacturing production is expected to increase in 2013, so also in the county of Møre og Romsdal. The activity of construction is also increasing. The production of private service industries is expected to grow at a lower rate this year than in the previous year, while the production in public services grow at approximately the same level as last year.

Møre og Romsdal had a growth in employment during the first six months this year, with an increase in the number of employed in construction and in private and public services, while the employment in manufacturing and primary industries slightly deceased. Projections indicate an employment growth this year also when measured as an annual average, although a somewhat lower growth than previous year. The growth in the labour force in Møre og Romsdal is slightly higher than in employment leading to an increase in the unemployment rate in 2013, though the unemployment rate is still below the national level.

The number of employed persons is expected to grow in Møre og Romsdal also the next year and in 2015, with an estimated growth slightly below the projected growth of employment in the nation generally. The employment of primary industries is still expected to decrease, while the projections indicate further growth of employed in construction and in private and public services, and in 2015 also in manufacturing.

It was high growth in the number of inhabitants in Møre og Romsdal in 2012. This population growth was the strongest in the county since 1953. This is due to a positive natural increase of the population, a high surplus of immigrants from abroad, while the out-migration to other regions of Norway just had a slight increase. The popula¬tion growth is expected to continue, with a somewhat lower growth of net immigrants. The same is expected for the working-age population. The projected development of the labour force and employment indicates a moderate growth in the unemployment in next year, but small changes in the unemployment of Møre og Romsdal in 2015.

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