Decline in petroleum revenues
Government revenue from petroleum activities is estimated at NOK 328 billion for 2013. This is a 15 per cent decline compared to 2012.
|General government revenue||1 345 401||1 424 757||1 574 623||1 655 067||1 664 462|
|General government total expenditure||1 094 504||1 142 227||1 200 520||1 250 616||1 329 945|
|Net lending/borrowing (-)||250 896||282 529||374 102||404 451||334 517|
|Central government net lending/borrowing||276 656||309 792||397 585||426 519||358 987|
|Local government net lending/borrowing||-25 758||-27 266||-23 485||-22 067||-24 468|
General government revenue totalled NOK 1 664 billion in 2013, which is approximately NOK 9 billion more than the previous year. This is the weakest increase in government revenue since 2009, when the financial crisis led to a decline in both tax revenues and oil prices. In 2013, there was a significant drop in the government petroleum revenue, which explains the low level income growth.
The government receives revenue from petroleum activities through taxes from petroleum extracting companies, as well as dividends from Statoil and SDFI (State's Direct Financial Interest). After three years of strong growth, the petroleum revenues decreased by 15 per cent in 2013. The decline in dividends from SDFI is partly due to reduced production and prices of oil and gas compared to the high levels of 2012. This decline in production and prices also affects the petroleum taxes, which are estimated to be reduced in 2013.
Increase in investments and foreign transfers
General government expenditure is estimated at NOK 1 330 billion in 2013, which is an increase of 6 per cent from 2012. Wages and purchases of goods and services account for almost half of the expenditure, while a third is made up of social benefits to households, such as pensions and unemployment benefits.
Investments in fixed capital were the fastest growing type of general government expenditure in 2013, growing from NOK 89 billion in 2012 to NOK 108 billion in 2013. The increase is particularly prevalent in the transport and hospital sectors. The construction of a new hospital in Østfold is one of the reasons for the increased expenditure in the hospital sector. Within the transport sector, investments have increased in the Public Roads Administration, the National Rail Administration and the Costal Administration. However, it should be noted that the expenditure growth in public roads is to some extent caused by a change in the Norwegian VAT Act in 2013.
Foreign transfers increased significantly in 2013, reaching NOK 33 billion. This is partly due to an increase in transfers through EU financing schemes that aim to equalize economic and social differences within Europe. There has also been a spike in appropriations to projects for clean energy in developing countries and to vaccination programmes aiming to reduce mortality among mothers and children. In addition to this, there has been an increase in funding towards emergency relief, particularly after the typhoon in the Philippines.
Surplus in central government, deficit in local government
The total surplus of the general government is estimated at NOK 335 billion, which is about NOK 70 billion less than the previous year. Revenues from petroleum activities are allocated to the central government through the Government Pension Fund, meaning that the central government is contributing to the large surplus. The surplus in the central government was estimated at NOK 359 billion in 2013. This surplus is large by international standards, enabling the Norwegian government to build substantial financial wealth.
In local government there has been an increase of about 6 per cent in both income and expenditure from 2012 to 2013. The estimated deficit is NOK 18 billion in book value, which is the same level as the two previous years. If the last seven years are combined, the local government has had a deficit approaching NOK 140 billion. A high level of investments in fixed capital over time has contributed to this. Many years of deficit has led to a rapidly growing debt.
New revised figures for national accounts and related statistics will be published in November and December 2014. Statistics Norway complies with international guidelines in its preparation of national accounts and statistics on foreign affairs. New international guidelines have now been issued for these statistics. Statistics Norway is currently in the process of implementing the changes, in addition to new source data for some of the statistics.