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Weekly Bulletin issue no. 36, 1998 <sti>Stikktittel

Quarterly national accounts, 2nd quarter 1998:

Growth of gross domestic product softens

The gross domestic product (GDP) increased in volume by 1.7 per cent from second quarter 1997 to second quarter 1998. Revised figures for the first quarter of this year show that it was up 4.4 per cent from the same quarter the year before. In the first six months of 1998, the GDP was 3.1 per cent higher than during the first half of 1997. Adjusted for normal seasonal variations, the GDP declined 0.2 per cent from fourth quarter 1997 to first quarter 1998, while it grew by 0.8 per cent from the first to the second quarter of this year.
Compared to the same period last year, domestic consumption and gross fixed capital formation increased by altogether 3.6 per cent in second quarter 1998. Consumption by households and non-profit organizations increased by 3.5 per cent. Consumption of goods increased the most, by 5.2 per cent. Consumption of services slowed, growing 1.4 per cent, which can in part be attributed to the strike in early summer. Seasonally adjusted figures show that consumption by households and non-profit organizations rose 1.9 per cent from the first to the second quarter of this year.

In government, consumption measured by volume was 2.9 per cent higher in second quarter 1998 than in the second quarter of last year. Consumption in the civilian sector of central government increased by 3.6 per cent, while defence consumption dropped 0.6 per cent. Consumption in local government rose 3.1 per cent by volume.

Investment still high

In the oil sector, the volume of gross fixed investment surged 19.2 per cent from second quarter 1997 to second quarter this year, while investment in Mainland Norway rose 2.6 per cent. In business and industry there was a decline in investment in industry and other goods-producing industries. Investment in service industries grew slowly, however. In government, gross fixed investment increased 9.7 per cent. Growth was particularly strong in state investments in roads. Seasonally adjusted development shows a 0.3 per cent decline in mainland investment from first to second quarter 1998.

Deteriorating balance of payments

Norway's external trade with goods and services produced a surplus of NOK 3.3 billion in the second quarter of 1998. In the first quarter the surplus was NOK 11.3 billion. Compared to second quarter 1997, exports dropped 1.6 per cent by volume. Exports of both traditional goods and crude oil and natural gas dropped, while exports of services increased by 1.6 per cent. Imports increased altogether 2.8 per cent by volume due to growth in the import of both traditional goods and services. Ignoring normal seasonal variations the preliminary figures show a 3.0 per cent reduction in the export volume from first to second quarter 1998 and a 2.5 per cent reduction in imports.

The interest and transfers balance shows a deficit of NOK 3.7 billion for second quarter 1998, an improvement of NOK 1.4 billion compared to the same period the year before. The current account balance in second quarter 1998 was a deficit of NOK 0.3 billion.

New Statistics
Quarterly national accounts, second quarter 1998.
The statistics are published quarterly in the Weekly Bulletin of Statistics, in Economic Analyses No. 6/98 and in Official Statistics of Norway (NOS) National Accounts 1978-1996 Production, use and employment. For more information, contact: kristian.gimming@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 44 17, pia.tonjum@ssb.no, tlf. +47 21 09 48 34, or tore.halvorsen@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 48 48.

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Weekly Bulletin issue no. 36, 1998