Increased growth in the mainland economy
After 0.4 per cent growth in the 4th quarter of 2016, gross domestic product (GDP) for mainland Norway increased by 0.6 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2017. It is slightly higher than the projected trend growth.
Following two years of decline, seasonally adjusted figures show a clear rise in manufacturing and mining of 0.9 per cent in the 1st quarter. Activity growth was particularly marked in the accommodation and food industry, such as the production of chemical and pharmaceutical raw materials. For other parts of the industry, such as manufacturing of metal products, machinery and shipbuilding, activity fell in the 1st quarter after positive figures at the end of last year. Other goods-producing industries in the mainland grew by 0.6 per cent in the 1st quarter. Reduction in electricity production pulled down the growth for the fourth quarter in a row, while the value added in building and construction activities continued the strong growth that started in early 2015. Traditional fishing also increased in the 1st quarter, while production in aquaculture was nearly unchanged from the quarter before.
- See more figures and tables in the statistics National accounts
Figure 1. Gross domestic produkt. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2014=100
|Gross domestic product||Gross domestic product,Mainland-Norway|
Figure 2. Gross domestic produkt. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2014=100
|Gross fixed capital formation,Mainland-Norway||Consumption in households|
The preliminary figures show that the value added in business services, increased by 0.4 per cent. There was an increase in most areas with the exception of services related to oil and gas extraction. The fall in activity in this group pulled down the growth in service industries by 0.2 percentage points. Value added in the public sector increased by 0.7 per cent in the 1st quarter, approximately the same as in the previous quarter. Increased activity in local authorities in particular pushed up value added.
Value added in extraction as well as transport via pipelines of oil and gas, as well as foreign shipping decreased during the 1st quarter of 2017. This contributed to the total GDP increasing by 0.2 per cent, after a growth in total GDP of 1.2 per cent the previous quarter.
Moderate household consumption growth continues
Households’ total consumption increased by 0.6 per cent in the 1st quarter, after having increased by 0.7 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2016. Commodity consumption developed weakly during the first three months of the year, especially in March, but this may be characterised by challenges with seasonal adjustment related to Easter. Consumption growth was 0.2 per cent in the 1st quarter, compared to 0.6 in the previous quarter. Service consumption continued to increase at the same rate as before. In the 1st quarter, the increase was 0.7 per cent.
Public consumption increased by 0.4 per cent in the 1st quarter and was dampened by a decline in defence spending.
Increase in mainland investment
Investments in mainland Norway have seen a clear increase in the last five quarters, and 0.7 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2017. This development is largely linked to strong growth in dwelling investments. In the first quarter, they increased by 3 per cent, while the annual average growth rate was 9.9 per cent in 2016. Public sector investment increased in the first quarter after increasing by almost 7 per cent from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, total investments in mainland industries and in manufacturing and mining decreased after a clear growth through 2016.
Preliminary calculations show that petroleum investments rose by 2.7 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2017 following a continuous decline since the 3rd quarter of 2013. The forecast for the 4th quarter of 2016, published in February, has been revised downwards.
In total, gross fixed capital formation increased by 0.5 per cent in the 1st quarter following a corresponding fall in the previous quarter.
Traditional exports up after a low 4th quarter
Exports of goods and services increased overall by 0.9 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2017. However, the strong growth of 7.8 per cent for exports of traditional goods has to be seen as a result of an even greater decline in the previous quarter. This is especially related to refined products, which fell sharply in the 4th quarter of 2016 due to maintenance work in production. Meanwhile, exports are back at a normal level in the 1st quarter of 2017. Export volumes of both oil and gas and services, however, were reduced and thus dampened the increase in total exports.
Imports of goods and services increased by 2.8 per cent in the 1st quarter after a decline of 1.5 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2016. As a yearly average, imports increased by 0.8 per cent last year.
Slight increase in employment
Preliminary calculations show that seasonally adjusted employment increased by 0.1 per cent or about 3100 people from the 4th quarter of 2016 to the 1st quarter of 2017. The number employed in the 1st quarter of 2016 was about 14 000 higher than in the same quarter in 2016. A large part of the employment increase in public administration is approximately equal to the increase in total employment in both the first quarter and the last four quarters. There was also a significant increase in building and construction, but also in business services and in accommodation and catering operations there has been a clear growth. On the other hand, in petroleum and manufacturing, the decline we have seen since 2014 continued.
Figures for the 1st to 4th quarter 2016 have been revised
In connection with the release of the figures for the 1st quarter of 2017, all quarters in 2016 are revised. The new figures show a quarterly growth in GDP for Mainland Norway of 0.3, 0.5, 0.1 and 0.4, which implies an upward revision in the 4th quarter.
An overview of the revisions in macroeconomic variables is given in Appendix table no. 8.
For an overview of developments in the gross domestic product for some of our trading partners, see OECD’s statistics.