Norwegian economy

Economic Survey 2-2000


According to preliminary figures from the quarterly national accounts, mainland GDP expanded by 0.5 per cent from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the first quarter of 2000. If we look at the last three quarters as a whole, the figures indicate that activity growth picked up following a pause from the second quarter of 1998 to the second quarter of 1999. On the demand side, both consumption and mainland investment provided a growth impetus, whereas traditional merchandise exports and petroleum investment fell compared with the level in the fourth quarter of 1999. According to Statistics Norway's Labour Force Survey (LFS), the number employed showed little change from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the first quarter of this year, adjusted for normal seasonal variations. Employment thus remains approximately on a par with the level recorded at the end of 1998, while unemployment has risen by about half a percentage point since then. As an average for the first four months of the year, the consumer price index was 2.8 per cent higher than the level in the same period one year earlier. However, year-on-year price inflation in March and April was noticeably lower than in January and February. As a result of very high oil prices, the current account surplus reached nearly NOK 40 billion in the first quarter of 2000, only moderately lower than the result for 1999 as a whole.

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