Mainland Norway’s economy grew in the second quarter after contracting in the previous three months, preliminary data from Statistics Norway showed Friday.
Gross domestic product of the mainland grew 1.4 percent from the first quarter, when it declined 1.0 percent. Economists had forecast a 1.7 percent increase.
In the second quarter of 2020, the economy shrank 5.8 percent during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Total GDP rose 1.1 percent from the previous three months after a 0.6 percent fall in the first quarter.
The statistical office attributed the latest improvement to lower spread of coronavirus infections, vaccines and relief in pandemic control measures.
The Norwegian economy grew in each of the months of the second quarter and activity in the mainland reached its pre-Covid19 level in June.
“The Norwegian economy was not in a normal situation at the end of the second quarter, but the imbalances were being reduced,” Statistics Norway economist Pal Sletten said.
“Some of the changes we have seen are probably lasting shifts in the behavior of individuals and companies.”
Activity remained low in the pandemic-hit service industries such as accommodation and catering, transport and cultural services. Retail consumption continued to remain strong, while supply-sector industries, partly due to the lack of foreign labor.
Employment increased in the second quarter, but remained lower than before the pandemic, and there was still a sharp decline in the number of foreign workers in Norway, the agency said.