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Norway Retail Sales Recover; Jobless Rate Falls

Norway's retail sales recovered in April and the jobless rate logged a moderate decline in March, figures from Statistics Norway showed on Wednesday.

Retail sales rose 4.8 percent month-on-month in April, after a 0.9 percent fall in March. Economists had expected a 2.5 percent decline.

Sales of cultural and recreation goods grew 24.1 percent monthly in April and sales of household equipment increased 14.7 percent.

Excluding motor vehicles and gas stations, retail sales rose 5.5 percent monthly in April, following a 0.2 percent increase in the preceding month.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales increased 3.8 percent in April, following a 1.3 percent rise in the prior month.

The jobless rate fell to 3.6 percent in March from 3.9 percent in December. Economists had expected a rate of 4.0 percent.

The unemployment rate for March indicates the average for February to April and that for December, reflects the average for November to January.

The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February.

The number of unemployed persons decreased to 101,000 in March from 110,000 in December.

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