Norway GDP falls a record 6.3% in second quarter

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OSLO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Norway's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted in the second quarter at the fastest pace ever recorded as efforts to contain the coronavirus plunged the economy into a deep recession, data from the national statistics office (SSB) showed on Tuesday.

The mainland economy, which excludes oil and gas production, shrank by 6.3% in the April-June period from the preceding three months, lagging a forecast of minus 6.1% in a Reuters poll of economists.

"The decline in the Norwegian economy in the second quarter was the deepest ever recorded," SSB said in a statement. "Quarterly national accounts are available back to 1978."

Still, European Union outsider Norway fared comparatively better than the eurozone, where GDP declined by 12.1%. It was weaker than neighbouring Finland, however, which contracted by 3.2%, but did better than Sweden's 8.6% decline.

It was Norway's second consecutive quarterly fall in GDP, with revised data for the January-March period showing a drop of 2.2%, Statistics Norway said, worse than the 2.1% drop initially reported.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Christopher Cushing)

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