This is an archived release.
Moderate growth in mainland economy
Seasonally adjusted figures from the Quarterly National Accounts show that growth in the mainland economy picked up throughout the summer this year. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for mainland Norway increased by 0.8 per cent from the 2 n d to the 3 r d quarter against 0.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
The growth in the 3 r d quarter can mainly be attributed to growth in several service industries, though manufacturing also experienced growth. Within the service industries, wholesale and retail trade and business services were the main contributors to the growth. Manufacturing's value added increased by 1.4 per cent in the 3 r d quarter, after decreases of 2.5 and 0.9 per cent in the 1 s t and 2 n d quarters. The upturn in the 3 r d quarter can be primarily attributed to increased export production of pulp, paper and paper products and food and beverage products. The growth in Gross Domestic Product for mainland Norway has been adjusted with an increase of 0.2 per cent for both the 1 s t and 2 n d quarter since the previous publication.
The growth in total GDP was -0.2 in the 2 n d quarter and 0.8 per cent in the 3 r d quarter.
Strong growth in household consumption expenditure
The preliminary figures show an increase of 0.9 per cent in household consumption expenditure from the 2 n d to 3 r d quarter, after an increase of 1.2 per cent from 1 s t to 2 n d quarter. The growth in households' goods consumption was 1.1 per cent in the 3 r d quarter, while the growth in service consumption was 0.5 per cent. The strong growth in households' purchases of clothing and footwear throughout the first half of 2003 continued in the 3 r d quarter, contributing to the increase in the consumption of goods. Consumption expenditure by Norwegian residents abroad increased by 2.2 per cent in the 3 r d quarter.
The total consumption expenditure for households and NPISH's increased by 1.2 and 1.0 per cent in the 2 n d and 3 r d quarters respectively.
Non-seasonally adjusted figures for general government consumption expenditure summed for the first 3 quarters of 2003, show an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2002. There was little growth in local government consumption expenditure, while central government consumption increased by 3.0 per cent. The growth can primarily be attributed to strong growth in hospital institutions' purchases of intermediates..
According to seasonally adjusted figures, general government consumption expenditure remained nearly constant from the 2 n d to the 3 r d quarter.
Reduced investment activity
The seasonally adjusted figures show a downward trend in investments in fixed capital for mainland Norway. The rate of decrease has however slowed through the year. From the 2 n d to 3 r d quarter, investment activity fell within manufacturing and housing construction, while service industries and general government experienced an increase. General government investments have increased throughout the entire year. The growth rates in the 2 n d and 3 r d quarters, mainly attributable to increased investment in hospitals, were 7.3 and 5.0 respectively.
Investment figures for gas and oil extraction and pipeline transport increased by 4.2 per cent from the 2 n d to the 3 r d quarter, after an increase of 6.0 per cent from the 1 s t to 2 n d quarter. For all of Norway, investments in fixed capital increased by 0.3 per cent in the 3 r d quarter, after a fall of 3.4 per cent the quarter before.
Reduced demand from rest of world
Seasonally adjusted export of traditional goods increased by 0.6 per cent in the 3 r d quarter of 2003, after an increase of 4.3 per cent in the 2 n d quarter. The aggregate traditional goods includes, until further, used air transport. Calculated without air transport, figures show a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the 2 n d to 3 r d quarter whereas 1 s t to 2 n d quarter figures showed an increase of 4.2 per cent. The decrease from 2 n d to 3 r d quarter is primarily due to a fall in the export of refined oil products. Increases in export of pulp, paper and paper products and fish and fish products prevented a more significant drop in the export of traditional goods excluding air transport.
After an increase of 0.9 per cent in the export of crude oil and natural gas in the 2 n d quarter, figures fell by 1.9 per cent in the 3 r d quarter.
The volume of import of traditional goods increased by 1.3 per cent from the 1 s t to 2 n d quarter, and then proceeded to fall by 0.2 per cent in the 3 r d quarter. The distinct decrease in import of both ships and oil platforms from the 2 n d to the 3 r d quarter contributed to a reduction in import of 1.5 percent over the same time period.
A marked decrease in the export price of refined oil production in the 2 n d and 3 r d quarters contributed to a decrease in the seasonally adjusted price index for the export of traditional goods in those two quarters. Calculated without refined oil products, export of traditional goods increased in the 2 n d and 3 r d quarters by 1.8 and 0.8 per cent. The growth in the 3 r d quarter was primarily due to price increases on metals.
For the import of traditional goods, the accounts show a price decrease from the 1 s t to 2 n d quarter of 0.5 per cent, and an increase of 1.5 per cent from the 2 n d to the 3 r d quarter.
Continued decrease in employment
Seasonally adjusted figures for employment and man-hours are not available in the Quarterly National Accounts. Unadjusted figures for the total number of employed persons show a decrease of 1.1 and 0.9 percent in the 2 n d and 3 r d quarters compared to the same quarters in 2002. Within manufacturing, the number of employed persons dropped by 5.8 per cent in the 2 n d quarter and by 4.8 per cent in the 3 r d quarter compared to figures from corresponding quarters of the previous year. The figures also show a decrease in the number of employed persons in general government and in most service industries.