Norway's NHO business lobby sees sluggish recovery from pandemic

OSLO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Norway’s economic contraction in 2020 will be less severe than predicted four months ago, but the economy will take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s top business lobby said on Tuesday.

The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, known locally as NHO, raised its mainland GDP forecast for 2020 to minus 4.2% from minus 6.5% seen in May. The economy will likely expand by 3.0% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2022, it added.

“The considerable revision shows that the situation has been very uncertain. That the economy has developed better than expected should not overshadow how dramatic things have been so far,” NHO said in the report.

The forecasts were less optimistic than those of Norges Bank and Statistics Norway (SSB).

The central bank last week predicted a 3.6% contraction for 2020, followed by growth of 3.7% next year. SSB meanwhile expects a fall of 3.2% this year followed by an expansion of 3.6%. (Reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik)