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Norway Manufacturing Slows as Europe’s Debt Woes Sap Exports

Norway’s manufacturing grew at the slowest pace since August last year as a slowing expansion in Europe crimped export demand.

A seasonally-adjusted index based on responses from purchasing managers fell to 50.8 from a revised 54.1 in September, Oslo-based Fokus Bank said today in a statement. The index was forecast to be 53.7, according to a Bloomberg survey of six economists. A reading above 50 signals growth.

The index “points to very weak growth in industrial production,” Frank Jullum, chief economist at Fokus Bank, said in the statement.

Norwegian policy makers, including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, have warned that an economic slowdown in Europe will weigh on exports. Europe accounts for more than 60 percent of Norway’s sales abroad.

The sub-index measuring orders fell to 51.7 from 56.2 while the employment index dropped to 47.5 from 51.2. The production measure dipped to 50.4 from 56.2. The index for the inventory of purchased goods rose to 53.7 from 50.4.

Norway’s PMI Index was started by Fokus Bank in 2004 in cooperation with the Association for Purchasing and Logistics. Fokus is owned by Danske Bank A/S, Denmark’s biggest lender.

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