Norwegian Manufacturing Contracts in April as Production Slumps

Norwegian manufacturing contracted last month as production slumped.

Norway’s purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.9 from a revised 50 in March, Danske Bank A/S said. Readings below 50 signal a contraction. The index was seen falling to 49.8 in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Norges Bank in March left its benchmark rate unchanged at 1.5 percent and signaled a potential rate cut this year as krone strength has cooled growth and inflation in Europe’s second-richest nation.

The production sub-index fell to 47.5 from 50.4, while the order index increased to 47.7 from 47.6. The employment index fell to 51.5.

Growth in Norway’s mainland economy, which excludes oil, gas and shipping, is estimated to slow to 2.75 percent in 2013 from 3.5 percent last year, according to central bank forecasts.