Economic Trends/Outlook in Norway

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Economic Overview

After fifteen years of a strong growth (more than 5% in average annually), Norway has been touched by the global economy recession; however, the decline in production was less severe than in other countries.  In 2009, the growth was slightly negative (-1.4%), a limited contraction by the rebound of oil prices.  The growth rate has slightly increased in 2010, stimulated by the relaunching measures, household consumption and private investment.  This slow revival trend should continue in 2011. 

Even though, Norway strongly depends of oil prices, the Norwegian economy is very solid and its perspectives are positive.  The government has progressively suppressed the exceptional measures taken during the crisis in order to prevent overheating its economy.  As it was announced on the budget 2011, the priority is to reduce the public deficit (without including oil). Confronting a long-term challenge, which is the ageing of the population, the government has also introduced a reform on the retirement insurance system. 

Norway is a rich country, which has the second highest GNP per capita in the world (USD 55,600 in terms equivalent to purchasing power).  The country also ranks second place in the UNDP's Human Development Index. Contrary to the initial fears, unemployment was controlled during the crisis and it has been stable at a very low rate (3.5% of the active population).

Main Indicators 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
GDP (billions USD) 378.61 414.46e 478.96e 494.24e 504.90e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -1.4 0.4e 2.9e 2.5e 2.2e
GDP per Capita (USD) 78,183e 84,444e 96,811e 99,106e 100,439e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -6.0e -6.5e -6.4e -6.4e -6.5e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 54.3e 54.3e 54.3e 54.3e 54.3e
Inflation Rate (%) 2.2 2.4e 1.8e 2.2e 2.5e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 3.2 3.6e 3.6e 3.5e 3.5e
Current Account (billions USD) 52.90e 72.86e 74.38e 73.87e -
Current Account (in % of GDP) 13.8e 16.8e 16.7e 16.2e -

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Agriculture contributes to about 2%  of the GNP. Fishing is a very important activity, Norway is one of the biggest exporters of fish in the world. Government subsidies for agriculture are very considerable.

Norway's economy is essentially based upon the exploitation of its natural and energy resources  (oil, gas, hydroelectric power, forests and minerals).  Oil production dominates the economy, accounting for nearly a quarter of the GNP. Norway is also a major producer and exporter of natural gas.  There is a consensus among the political parties to save oil and gas revenues for future generations, to the point where Norway has one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.  Shipbuilding, metals, pulp and paper, chemical industries, machinery and electrical equipment are Norway's main manufacturing industries. Norway has one of the biggest and most modern fleet in the world. 

The services sector is highly developed and accounts for more than three-fourths of the GNP.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 2.8 21.1 76.0
Value Added (in % of GDP) 1.2 40.1 58.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) -5.1 -2.5 -0.6

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Norway, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Mostly free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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