New figures from the National Accounts show that the gross domestic product (GDP) for Mainland Norway increased in August. Growth in wholesale and retail trade and fishing accounted for the majority of the increase. Growth was dampened by a decline in construction and manufacturing.

- Activity in wholesale and retail trade has been falling in recent months. The growth in wholesale and retail in August comes after a decline in July, says Head of National Accounts, Pål Sletten.

Traditional fishing accounted for 0.2 percentage points of the increase in Mainland Norway's GDP in August. Value added in this industry fluctuates a lot over time and sometimes has significant effects on the monthly national accounts.

New datapoints and ongoing revision of seasonal adjustments has led to alterations in the GDP for Mainland Norway figures for the time periods of June and July. Both months have been revised by 0.2 percentage points. The preliminary figures for GDP Mainland Norway thus now show an increase of 0.5 per cent in June and a decrease of 0.1 per cent in July.

Rolling three-month average growth for GDP Mainland Norway has decreased since May 2022. For the period March to May 2022, the rolling three-month growth was 1.0 per cent. In June to August, the growth had fallen to 0.3 per cent.

- The monthly figures can fluctuate quite a bit. If you look at the development over a few months, the figures show that the overall trend in GDP Mainland Norway has been decreasing since May 2022, says Pål Sletten.

Total GDP in current prices increased 6.7 per cent from July to August. It was mainly rising prices of exported goods that contributed to the strong growth. The increased prices also significantly strengthened the monthly trade balance. For the third month in a row the preliminary figures show a historically high monthly trade surplus. The figures for August reached a sizeable 188 billion NOK.

Figure 1. Gross domestic product and household final consumption expenditures. Rolling three-month sum. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2019=100

Figure 2. Gross domestic product and household final consumption expenditures. Monthly. Seasonally adjusted. Volume indices. 2019=100


Value added in the market-facing service industries increased 0.7 per cent. The increase is mainly due to higher activity in wholesale and retail trade. Wholesale and retail trade increased GDP for Mainland Norway by 0.2 percentage points.

Manufacturing had an overall decline of 2.9 per cent, and decreased GDP Mainland Norway 0.2 percentage points. The decline within manufacturing was broad. Production of basic pharmaceutical products, computers and electronic products fell the most. The fall was somewhat decreased by growth in the processing and preservation of fish.

The volume of production of other goods remained at the same level as in July 2022. Within this aggregate, activity in fishing, aquaculture and agriculture increased, but there was a decrease in construction and the production of electricity. The increase in the price of electricity continued in August.

Value added in the general government increased 0.6 per cent. Activity in central government and local government increased by the same amount. Municipal teaching and care services activities increased the most in local government.

The price of natural gas has been high in August. Thus, the high nominal growth in extraction of natural gas and crude oil continued for the second month in a row. The seasonally adjusted value grew around 15 per cent from July to August, measured in current prices. In comparison to previous months value added in Petroleum activities and ocean transport increased around 7 per cent, measured in fixed prices.


Household consumption increased 1.4 per cent from July to August. Consumption of goods, which fell in July, grew 1.3 per cent in August. The growth was largely due to increased consumption of food and beverages, and increased car purchases. Service consumption grew 1.4 per cent and was particularly boosted by sporting, amusement, and recreation services. Repair of automotive transport also contributed to the increase in service consumption in August. The rolling three-month average growth of consumption in households fell 0.4 per cent in the period June-August.

Norwegians' consumption abroad and foreigners' consumption in Norway grew 3.2 and 2.4 per cent respectively. But the levels were still lower for the same period before the pandemic

Export and import

In August, exports increased 3.4 per cent, measured in fixed prices. Exports of crude oil and natural gas, as well as electrical equipment, contributed to this increase. Measured in current prices, total exports grew 13.4 per cent in August. Norway had a trade surplus of 188 billion, which exceeds the historically high trade surpluses seen in June and July.

Imports increased 4.4 per cent, measured in fixed prices. Increased imports of aircraft, electronics and minerals contributed most to the upturn. In current prices, imports rose 30.4 per cent compared to last year.


Gross fixed capital formation increased with 4.7 per cent in August. There was a decrease over the three-month period June-August, compared to the period May-July, of 0.7 per cent. After a decline of 2.1 per cent in July, investments in dwelling services continued to decline 3 per cent in August. The rolling three-month growth fell by 5.5 per cent.

For gross fixed capital formation, there is low availability of monthly information. For petroleum investments, investments in manufacturing, mining and power supply, information on planned investments is used as reported by the companies.


In connection with new monthly and quarterly figures, retroactive revisions might occur. The statistics used will not normally change backwards, but seasonally adjusted series can still be affected. This is because the basis for the seasonal adjustment changes when new periods are added.

Throughout the corona pandemic, from March 2020 to March 2022, new figures were treated as extreme values, and were not included in the basis for the calculation of the seasonal pattern. The many changes in national accounts figures since February 2020 means that new periods that are now added in the seasonal adjustment, from and including April 2022, can produce larger revisions than normal in the seasonal pattern.

In some areas, new datapoints for previous months have been incorporated. The macro picture is nevertheless still as previously published.

In connection with the publication of the quarterly National Accounts for the 3rd quarter, Statistics Norway will publish the final National Accounts figures for 2020 on 18 November 2022. In addition to providing a more complete picture of the first year of the pandemic, certain revisions will be incorporated in National Accounts figures for previous years.

The final national accounts for 2020 replaces the preliminary national accounts for 2020. While the latter is a projection based on indicators from the last published final annual accounts (2019), the final national accounts are based on much more detailed data sources. Particularly important is the business statements from enterprises, which provides a basis for more precise calculations of the gross product in the various industries. We will thus learn more about how the Norwegian economy fared in the first year of the pandemic.

In conjunction with the publication of the final figures for 2020, certain quality improvements are also carried out. These changes are also incorporated for previous years to avoid breaks in the time series.

The most significant revisions for previous years are:

  • Improvements in the calculations of free banking services, so-called FISIM (Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured).

  • New data source and guidelines for production processes across national borders, where goods pass national borders without a change of ownership (processing) and income related to the purchase and sale of goods abroad (intermediary trade).

  • New calculation scheme for the central bank's activity.

The revisions are not expected to have a major impact on Norwegian GDP overall, but could affect the value added of individual industries, the composition of access to and use of Norwegian goods and services, and operating profit and wage cost shares in individual industries.