(Adds quotes, background)
OSLO, April 4 Norway's top business lobby on
Tuesday cut its forecast for mainland economic growth to 1.9
percent in 2017 from an earlier prediction of 2.1 percent as
weak crude prices keep a lid on investment by the country's vast
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, known locally as
NHO, maintained a 2018 forecast of 2.0 percent growth and added
a first prediction for 2019 growth of 1.9 percent.
"There's a cyclical upswing taking place around us, and I
think we can say the crisis at home has been avoided and the
mood is rising," NHO chief economist Oeystein Doerum said.
At the same time the effects of lower interest rates, fiscal
stimulus and a weak crown currency are expected to abate in the
time to come.
"We need to restructure and replace jobs (that are lost
in)the oil sector ... It's now we should build the businesses
which should take over from oil production, but we can't see
that happening," Doerum said.
Investments in the housing market and growth in public
employment have been driving forces for the economy lately, but
are not viable long-term engines of growth, he added.
(Reporting by Camilla Knudsen and Ole Petter Skonnord, editing
by Terje Solsvik)