Economic Survey 1-2013
We have put behind us a year of stagnation and, to some extent, downturn in economic activity globally. The situation in Europe in particular remains very gloomy. Yet, during 2012, Norway enjoyed its highest growth in production since the financial crisis. However, certain segments of the Norwegian economy are clearly being affected by the weak developments among our key trading partners. Traditional Norwegian exports and industrial investments developed poorly towards the end of last year. This slowed the rate of growth in the mainland economy and dampened prospects for growth during the current year.
In Europe, policy and economic developments remain dominated by a financial policy of public sector cuts and tax rises, while the European Central Bank is attempting to stimulate the economy through low interest rates and an expansive monetary policy. Fiscal policy tightening is also continuing in the USA. Nevertheless, there is markedly higher growth in the USA than in Europe, as well as some positive trends, e.g. in the housing market. We do not expect to see an upturn in growth among Norway’s trading partners during 2013. The prospects for 2014 are brighter, but there is no reason to anticipate a global economic recovery before 2015.