Norwegian economy grows official 0.7% in first quarter

Economic growth in oil and gas-rich Norway grew by 0.7 percent in the first quarter, the Norwegian statistics office said on Thursday.

This was an acceleration from growth in the previous quarter when mainland gross domestic product, which excludes the highly cyclical offshore oil and shipping sectors, grew by 0.2 percent in the latest revised figure.

The result was in line with analysts' expectations, and came on the back of solid household demand, export growth and real estate activity.

The statistics office also revised growth in 2012 lower to 3.4 percent instead of 3.5 percent forecast earlier.

"The mainland Norwegian economy picked-up strongly in Q1, suggesting that Q4's slowdown was an outlier," said economist James Howat of Capital Economics.

"But we still expect the economy to slow later in the year as the eurozone crisis intensifies and households reduce their borrowing."