Norwegian manufacturing expanded less than estimated in April, dropping to the lowest level since December, as Europe’s debt crisis weighs on orders.
A seasonally adjusted index based on responses from purchasing managers fell to 53.7 in April from a revised 59.3 in March, Oslo-based Fokus Bank said today. The median estimate of six economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for the index to fall to 57. A reading above 50 signals an expansion.
Norway’s central bank in March lowered its main interest rate for a second time since December to shield the economy from the European debt crisis and curb excessive krone gains.
The sub-index measuring orders fell to 56.8 from 63.8 and the production measure decreased to 55.1 from 59.1, according to the survey. The employment index dropped to 52.1 from 61.
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.
In neighboring Sweden, the PMI for April was unchanged at 50.2, Stockholm-based Swedbank AB, which compiles the index, said in an e-mail today.
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