Drought slowed mainland growth


The gross domestic product (GDP) of mainland Norway (excluding the largely petroleum-based offshore sector) grew by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. The drought in the summer caused a pronounced decrease in agricultural output, which lowered mainland growth by 0.2 percentage points.

Weak growth in consumption, especially in September, impacted the wholesale and retail trade negatively and slowed growth in the third quarter. Services in general, like technical and business services as well as the IT sector, saw pronounced growth. This is a development we have observed over several months. The construction sector has likewise continued to contribute to growth.

Figure 1. Gross domestic product and household final consumption expenditures. Rolling three-month sum. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2016=100

Gross domestic product, Mainland-Norway Household final consumption expenditures
Jan. 2016
Feb. 2016
Mar. 2016 100 99.8
Apr. 2016 99.9 99.5
Mai 2016 99.8 99.5
Jun. 2016 99.7 99.5
Jul. 2016 99.5 99.6
Aug. 2016 99.5 99.6
Sept. 2016 99.8 99.8
Oct. 2016 100.1 100.2
Nov. 2016 100.4 100.6
Dec. 2016 100.5 100.9
Jan. 2017 100.7 101.1
Feb. 2017 101.1 101.4
Mar. 2017 101.3 101.6
Apr. 2017 101.5 101.5
Mai 2017 101.7 101.7
Jun. 2017 102.1 102
Jul. 2017 102.2 102.4
Aug. 2017 102.4 102.5
Sept. 2017 102.6 102.9
Oct. 2017 103 102.9
Nov. 2017 103.4 103.2
Dec. 2017 103.5 103.5
Jan. 2018 103.7 103.6
Feb. 2018 103.8 103.4
Mar. 2018 104 103.5
Apr. 2018 104.2 104
Mai 2018 104.5 104.4
Jun. 2018 104.7 104.6
Jul. 2018 105 104.5
Aug.2018 105.1 104.6
Sept.2018 105 104.4

Figure 2. Gross domestic product and household final consumption expenditures. Monthly. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2016=100

Gross domestic product, Mainland-Norway Household final consumption expenditures
Jan. 2016 100.5 100.2
Feb. 2016 99.9 99.8
Mar. 2016 99.8 99.5
Apr. 2016 100 99.3
Mai 2016 99.5 99.8
Jun. 2016 99.5 99.4
Jul. 2016 99.4 99.4
Aug. 2016 99.6 99.9
Sept. 2016 100.3 100
Oct. 2016 100.5 100.8
Nov. 2016 100.3 101
Dec. 2016 100.8 100.8
Jan. 2017 101.2 101.6
Feb. 2017 101.4 101.8
Mar. 2017 101.4 101.5
Apr. 2017 101.7 101.4
Mai 2017 102 102.3
Jun. 2017 102.6 102.2
Jul. 2017 102 102.6
Aug. 2017 102.6 102.7
Sept. 2017 103.2 103.2
Oct. 2017 103.2 102.7
Nov. 2017 103.8 103.8
Dec. 2017 103.7 104.2
Jan. 2018 103.7 102.8
Feb. 2018 104 103.2
Mar. 2018 104.4 104.5
Apr. 2018 104.2 104.2
Mai 2018 104.9 104.5
Jun. 2018 105 105
Jul. 2018 105.3 104
Aug.2018 105 104.9
Sept.2018 104.7 104.2

Industrial output increased by half a per cent in the third quarter after growth of 1.2 per cent during the preceding quarter. Despite overall growth during the third quarter, our monthly figures show that industrial output in September was somewhat lower than in August, which is particularly attributed to the fish processing industry. Fishing and aquaculture likewise lowered the September figures somewhat. September was a slow month overall as the mainland economy saw a slowdown of 0.3 per cent, with fishing and fish processing pulling down growth by 0.4 percentage points.   

The gross product of the petroleum sector and offshore shipping increased by 2.7 per cent in the third quarter. Overall, the GDP (i.e. including the mainland) increased by 0.6 per cent.  

Decrease in household consumption

Household consumption fell by 0.2 per cent, following an increase of one per cent in the previous quarter. A decrease of 1.4 per cent in consumption of goods largely accounts for the overall drop. Sales of automobiles and fuel, as well as clothing and food, contributed to the lower consumption of goods. This trend has been observed over the last 3-4 months.

Consumption of services continued its stable growth and together with travel abroad dampened the decrease in total household consumption.

Consumption in the public sector increased by 0.3 per cent, in line with developments over the last several quarters.

Increased investment in the petroleum extraction industry

Investments in the petroleum extraction industry continued to increase in the third quarter. Preliminary numbers show growth of 1.7 per cent compared to the second quarter. So far this year the investments are 1.3 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Overall gross investment in mainland Norway increased by 0.7 per cent in the third quarter. Investment in electricity generation accounts for a portion of the growth, but government investment, particularly at the municipal level, also contributed.

Household investment in housing decreased by 0.8 per cent, a marked drop compared to the three previous quarters. The monthly figures show that the decrease ended in June and that investments have remained stable since then.

Overall, gross investments in Norway increased by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter.

Imports and exports

Exports of goods and services increased overall by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter. It was especially crude oil and natural gas that contributed to the upturn. The exports of traditional goods declined by 0.5 per cent, mainly related to a decline in the exports of refined oil products. Preliminary figures show an increase in the exports of services for the third quarter in a row.

There was no change in the imports of traditional goods from the second to the third quarter. However, the imports of large capital goods, such as ships, aircraft and modules for the oil industry fell in the third quarter, resulting in a fall in the overall imports of 0.9 per cent from the second to the third quarter.

Continued increase in employment

The growth in employment that we have observed throughout the first half of the year continued in the third quarter. Seasonally adjusted growth in the third quarter is estimated to be 0.4 per cent, the equivalent of 10 700 new jobs. So far this year, the seasonally adjusted figures show a creation of 30 000 new jobs. Most industries saw an increase in employment, particularly the service sector. Employment increased in the construction sector, in line with the trend over the last two years.


As new monthly figures arrive, revisions are made to previously released figures. This may affect seasonally adjusted figures as the figures on which they are based change as new periods are added. Adjustments will be made to the seasonally adjusted figures until there are longer time series. The impact of new observations will decrease as the time series expands.

Since the previous publication in October, the GDP for mainland Norway has been scaled up marginally. Due to rounding errors, it appears as an increase from 0.6 to 0.7 percentage points. Since the first publication of the 2nd quarter in August, the numbers have been scaled up from 0.5 to 0.7 per cent. The adjustment is 0.13 percentage points, but due to rounding rules, the change is 0.2 percentage points in the revision table. Revisions have been included continuously in the monthly publications.

An overview of revisions in macroeconomic key figures from the quarterly publication in August is provided in table 10.