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According to preliminary figures from the national accounts, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 0.8 per cent in volume in the first quarter of 1999 relative to the same quarter in the previous year. Consumption increased in both households and general government, while investments declined. Seasonally adjusted figures for GDP show a growth of 1.1 per cent from the fourth quarter of 1998 to the first quarter of the current year. For mainland Norway the seasonally adjusted growth was 1.3 per cent.
Consumption in households and non-profit institutions serving households
increased in volume by 4.0 per cent from the first quarter of 1998 to the first
quarter of this year. In households it was the consumption of goods that
increased most rapidly, by 5.6 per cent. The growth in the consumption of
services has been calculated at 2.6 per cent. Seasonally adjusted figures show
that consumption in households and non-profit institutions serving households
was 2.4 per cent higher in the first quarter of 1999 compared with the fourth
quarter last year.
For consumption in general government a volume growth of 1.2 per cent has been calculated so far for the first quarter of 1999 compared with the same quarter in the previous year. The growth was somewhat quicker in local government than in the central government, 1.3 and 1.0 per cent respectively.
Decline in investments
Gross investments in fixed assets decreased in volume by 3.3 per cent from the first quarter of 1998 to the first quarter of 1999. For mainland Norway the calculations show a reduction in the investment volume of 2.3 per cent. It was in industry and business that investments declined, while public sector investments increased. Investments in petroleum operations and ocean transport taken together declined by a total of 5.5 per cent. When seasonally adjusted, the decrease in mainland investments amounted to 2.9 per cent relative to the previous quarter.
Balance of payments in balance
Preliminary calculations show a surplus in the current account balance of a little over NOK 1 billion in the first quarter of 1999, compared with a surplus of NOK 7.7 billion in the same quarter a year ago. For the fourth quarter of 1998 there was a deficit of NOK 16.2 billion.
Total exports declined in volume by 5 per cent from the first quarter of 1998 to the first quarter this year, while the import volume decreased by 4.7 per cent. The export of both traditional goods and services decreased, while the import of both groups increased somewhat. Oil and gas exports declined in volume by 9 per cent. Corrected for seasonal fluctuations, total exports decreased by 0.2 per cent from the previous quarter, while imports decreased by fully 6.3 per cent.
Reduced oil extraction
Compared with the same quarter in the previous year, there was a decline in industrial production in the first quarter of 1999, while seasonally adjusted figures show a growth from the fourth to the first quarter of 0.8 per cent. For oil and gas extraction the preliminary figures show a volume decrease of 5.2 per cent relative to the first quarter of the previous year. Production increased in the primary industries as a whole and in the service sector with the exception of transport via pipelines. The growth was especially great in business activities.
Slow growth in employment
br>Preliminary calculations show that there was a total increase in employed persons of 0.9 per cent from the first quarter of 1998 to the first quarter of 1999. There was a decline in employment in the primary industries and in manufacturing, while there was a rapid growth in employment in business activities. Employment in construction remained more or less constant.
Quarterly national accounts, first quarter 1999.
The statistics are published quarterly in the Weekly Bulletin of Statistics and in Economic Analyses, and annually in the Official Statistics of Norway (NOS) National Accounts. For more information, contact: Kristian.Gimming@ssb.no, tel.: +47 21 09 44 17, Pia.Tonjum@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 48 34, or Tore.Halvorsen@ssb.no, tel. +47 21 09 48 48.
Weekly Bulletin issue no. 22, 1999