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Norway’s July Unemployment Rate Rises More Than Estimated

Norwegian unemployment rose more than estimated in July, easing pressure on the central bank to increase benchmark interest rates.

Unemployment rose to 2.7 percent from 2.4 percent in June, the Oslo-based Norwegian Labor and Welfare Service said in a monthly report. It was estimated to rise to 2.6 percent, in a Bloomberg survey of eight economists.

Norway’s central bank signaled in June it may start raising rates as soon as December -- earlier than previously indicated -- as an overheated housing market fuels concern the country may be in the grip of a bubble. The bank has lowered its main rate by 0.75 of a percentage point since December to 1.5 percent.

Record high petroleum investments have shielded the Nordic economy from the fallout of Europe’s debt crisis. Policy makers estimate the country’s mainland economy will grow 3.75 percent in 2012. That compares with a European Commission forecast for a contraction of 0.3 percent in the euro area.

The krone declined 0.2 percent to 7.3793 per euro as of 10:12 a.m. in Oslo.

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