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OSLO, April 4 (Reuters) - 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 oil industry.
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)