Raised current account surplus
External economy;National accounts and business cycles
ur, Balance of payments, current balance, direct investments, operational and capital accounts, financial accounts, investment abroad, foreign investment, transactions, stocks, financial assets, liabilities, portofolio investment, financial investments, revaluations, current account balance, balance of income and current transfers, reinvested earnings, net assets, imports, exportsBalance of payments, National accounts , National accounts and business cycles, External economy
The statistics show the quarterly Norwegian current account and financial account balance (Balance of Payments).

Balance of paymentsQ4 2016



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Raised current account surplus

The current account balance ended at NOK 59 billion in the 4th quarter of 2016, up NOK 40 billion from the previous quarter. The goods and services balance ended at NOK 33 billion, while net income and current transfers ended at NOK 27 billion.

Balance of payments. NOK million
4th quarter 20151st quarter 20162nd quarter 20163rd quarter 20164th quarter 2016
Current account balance52 85145 48228 42719 01959 304
Balance of goods and services39 29713 757-353-7 54132 721
Balance of income and current transfers13 55431 72528 78026 56026 583
Capital transfers to abroad, net573965018
Net lending, current account52 83444 73128 35019 00759 274
Direct investment5 663-6 60277 529-1 746102 251
Portofolio investment42 710-80 248168 922-57 8083 473
Other investments-29 09569 633-51 77772 250-57 021
Reserve assets (IMF breakdown)-34 79345 234-5 3762 805-13 033
Net lending, financial account-15 51528 017189 29815 50135 670
Net errors and omissions68 34916 714-160 9483 50623 604
Figure 1. The current account

Goods and services in surplus

Preliminary figures show that total export of goods and services in the 4th quarter of 2016 ended at NOK 285 billion. This was more than NOK 32 billion higher than the previous quarter, and was mostly due to growth in income from exports of crude oil and natural gas. Here both prices and volume were higher compared to the previous quarter. Preliminary calculations show that export of services rose slightly from the 3rd to the 4th quarter. 

The import value of goods and services in the 4th quarter of 2016 ended at NOK 252 billion, representing a decline in nominal terms of NOK 8 billion compared to the 3rd quarter. Import of goods was up almost NOK 3 billion, while the import value of services was reduced NOK 11 billion, due mostly to the normal seasonal reduction in residents’ travel expenditures abroad. 

For more information about export and import, including price and volume considerations and seasonal adjustments, please see the quarterly national accounts

Stable surplus of income and current transfers

The balance of income and current transfers ended at NOK 27 billion in the 4th quarter, the same as in the previous quarter. For 2016 as a whole, the preliminary estimate of the balance of income and current transfers is NOK 114 billion, which is triple that of the goods and services balance and the highest ever recorded. This must be viewed in light of Norway’s total net international assets of almost NOK 6 000 billion (at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2016). 

Restructuring influenced the financial investments

The financial investments abroad were reduced by NOK 151 billion at the end of the 4th quarter of 2016. Investments in Norway were accordingly reduced by NOK 186 billion. 

The decline in both assets and liabilities was strongly driven by reduced foreign direct investment. In 2016, several large Norwegian corporations went through a corporate inversion and brought parts of their activity abroad home to Norway. This restructuring across borders entailed financial transactions that particularly became visible in the 4th quarter. Foreign direct investment in equity abroad was substantially reduced by NOK 58 billion. Debt instruments under foreign direct investment in Norway had a reduction of a staggering NOK 185 billion, highly driven by the disappearance of intercompany lending from abroad. 

The rise in portfolio investments was mainly due to net purchases of equity, both abroad and in Norway. General government purchased equity abroad amounting to NOK 15 billion.

On both the asset and liability side, other investments declined. 

Changes in the financial account through 2016 are mentioned in the statistics Foreign assets and liabilities

RevisionsOpen and readClose

For the current account: figures have been revised for the first three quarters in 2016.

For the financial account: figures include revisions dating back to the 1st quarter of 2015.