— The decline in August followed a similar rise the previous month. We are seeing a fairly flat development in the Norwegian economy so far this year, says Head of National Accounts, Pål Sletten. 

New figures from the National Accounts show that GDP Mainland-Norway fell 0.2 per cent seasonally adjusted and measured in constant prices. Wholesale and retail trade contributed most to the fall, but administrative and support service activities and the agriculture, forestry and fishing also declined. Real estate activities moderated the decline. 

— Reduced activity in wholesale and retail trade is the main reason why we have a decline in August, but there are small movements in the monthly figures. When the underlying development in the economy is as flat as it is now, minor fluctuations mean that we alternate between growth and decline from month to month, says Sletten. 

Household consumption decreased 0.2 per cent in August. Consumption of goods decreased, as a result of a decline in car purchases, while consumption of services increased.  

The fact that the decline in August is roughly the same as the rise in July illustrates that one should not place too much importance on the development in a single month. If you look at several months together, this can give a better impression of the underlying development in the economy. The rolling three-month growth shows modest growth for GDP Mainland-Norway of 0.2 per cent from March-May to June-August. 
The uncertainty in the monthly national accounts is greater than usual in the summer. 
— Activity is low in many industries, while it is high in others. Even if the figures are adjusted for seasonal and calendar variation, such fluctuations cause uncertainty about the underlying development in the economy, says Sletten. 

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 services including dwelling services fell 0.3 per cent in August. Wholesale and retail trade contributed most to the fall, corresponding to 0.2 percentage point in the overall decline in GDP Mainland-Norway. Activity also decreased in administrative and support service activities, while activity increased in real estate activities. 

There was a decrease of 0.3 per cent in manufacturing and mining. Manufacturing of food products and manufacturing of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations contributed most to the decline. 

Production of other goods fell 0.7 per cent. Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities contributed most to the decline. Growth in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply moderated the decline in Mainland Norway's GDP by just under 0.1 percentage point. 

Value in the general government fell 0.3 per cent. Central government was responsible for the decline, while the local government increased. 

Measured in fixed prices, extraction of crude oil and natural gas was flat. Within mining support service activities, there was increased activity, with growth of 1 per cent. 

Household consumption 

Household consumption decreased 0.2 per cent from July to August. Goods consumption fell, while service consumption increased. 
Goods consumption fell 0.5 per cent, purchase of new passenger cars contributed most to the fall. Consumption of electricity and fuel rose and contributed dampening the decline. 
Service consumption increased 0.5 per cent, repair of transport equipment and leisure services contributed to the increase. Norwegian consumption abroad fell 0.7 per cent, while consumption by non-residents in Norway increased 4.2 per cent. 

Export and import 

Exports decreased 2,7 percent in August, measured in fixed prices. Less export of crude oil and natural gas contributed most to the decrease. The export of traditional goods also contributed to the fall, especially lower export of refined oil products, while exports of services increased. 

Measured in fixed prices total imports decreased 2,4 per cent. Bothe imports of traditional goods and services contributed to the fall. Lower imports of industry products, such as motor vehicles contributed most to the fall. 


Gross fixed capital formation increased 0.8 per cent in august after a fall of 6,9 percent in July. The rolling three-month decline was 3,5 per cent. Dwelling services increased 0.9 per cent after a fall of 5,4 per cent in July. The rolling three-month decrease was 8,3 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 will occur. New information is occasionally incorporated in the calculation of selected national accounts figures. In addition, the seasonal pattern will change as new periods are added. 

The great upheavals in the Norwegian economy during the corona pandemic may have led to connections between indicators and account figures differing from normal periods. In the aftermath of the corona pandemic, revisions in the seasonal patterns have occasionally been larger than normal. Preliminary monthly and quarterly figures should therefore be treated as being more uncertain than usual. 

In connection with the publication of the quarterly National Accounts for the 3rd quarter, Statistics Norway will publish the final National Accounts figures for 2021 on 23 November 2023. This will provide us with a more complete picture of the Norwegian economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the preliminary stages of the surprisingly strong price increases we are currently experiencing.

The final national accounts for 2021 will replace the previously published preliminary national accounts figures for 2021. While the latter is a projection based on indicators from the last published final annual accounts (2020), the final national accounts are based on much more detailed data sources. The business statements from enterprises are particularly important. They provide a basis for more precise calculations of the value added in the various industries. 2021 will also be incorporated as the new baseline year for the preliminary national accounts projections. This will cause revisions in national accounts figures from 2021 onwards.

The revisions are not expected to impact total Norwegian GDP figures significantly, but they can impact value added in certain industries, the composition of supply and demand for Norwegian goods and services, and earnings and wages in particular industries.