Continued growth in Norwegian economy
National accounts and business cycles
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National accountsMarch 2004



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Continued growth in Norwegian economy

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Mainland Norway grew through the 4th quarter of 2003 and the 1st quarter of 2004 according to seasonally adjusted figures from the quarterly national accounts. The increase through the last four quarters has although been moderate.

The figures show an increase in the GDP for Mainland Norway of 0.5 per cent from the 4th to the 1st quarter this year. The average growth in the last three quarters of 2003 was 0.9 per cent. The growth can mainly be attributed to increased activity in domestic trade and services. GDP for Norway grew by 1.0 per cent.

Gross Domestic Product

Strong development in final consumption expenditure among households

According to the preliminary seasonally adjusted volume figures, the final consumption expenditures among households grew by 1.8 per cent from the 4th quarter of last year to the 1st quarter of 2004. The corresponding quarterly growth rates were in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2003 1.1 and 1.2 per cent respectively.

In the 1st quarter of 2004, final consumption expenditure in general government increased by 0.2 per cent.

Continued low investment activity

The Seasonally adjusted figures show continued slow development in gross fixed capital formation in Mainland Norway. The growth was in the 1st quarter 2004 -1.7 per cent. This has been a continued trend within the last three years. The figures show differences in the development between different mainland industries; while a distinctive decrease occurred within manufacturing from the 4th to the 1st quarter, households gross fixed capital formation showed a clear increase.

Final consumption expenditure among households and investments in Mainland Norway

Strong growth in imports - reduced surplus in trade of good and services

According to the seasonally adjusted figures, the trade surplus has been reduced by about NOK 5.7 billion in the 1st quarter 2004.

The volume in total import grew by 2.1 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2003 and 2.9 per cent in the 1st quarter of 2004. Traditional goods increased by 4.6 per cent from the 4th quarter to the 1st quarter.

The preliminary figures for the volume of exports of traditional goods show an increase of 1.5 per cent from the 3rd to 4th quarter last year and a decrease of 0.4 per cent from the 4th to the 1st quarter this year.

Fewer employed persons

Preliminary seasonally adjusted figures for number of employed persons have remained unchanged throughout 2003 followed by a slight decrease in the 1st quarter of 2004. For comparison, hours worked increased slightly from the 4th quarter of 2003 to the 1st of 2004. As this is the first publication of seasonally adjusted figures for number of employed persons and hours worked, these figures are more uncertain than other quarterly figures. The preliminary unadjusted figures for the number of employed persons show a decrease of 0.3 per cent from the 1st quarter of 2003 to the 1st quarter this year.

Revised figures for 2003

Within Statistics Norway's publication cycle for the national accounts, figures for the 1st quarter of the current year and newly revised account figures for the entire previous year are published. The revised figures for 2003 are still considered to be preliminary figures.

On the volume side, the new preliminary figures for 2003 show an increase of 0.2 per cent in the total demand. The annual growth in GDP for Mainland Norway for the entire year of 2003 has been adjusted downwards by 0.1 per cent. The annual growth in the volume of total export has been adjusted upwards from 0.1 to 1.2 per cent. The volume of total import has been adjusted upwards from 1.8 to 2.2 per cent.

There are only small changes in consumption expenditure by households and in total consumption expenditure by general government.

Institutional sector accounts has also revised figures for 2003. To see them click here .

Gross domestic product 1. quarter 2003 to 1. quarter 2004. Percentage change in volume from the previous period (seasonally adjusted)
 200220031. quarter 20032. quarter 20033. quarter 20034. quarter 20031. quarter 2004
Gross domestic product (GDP)1.4    0.4-
Petroleum activities and ocean transport0.4-0.3-2.7-
Final domestic use of goods and services2.40.60.6-
Final consumption exp. of households and NPISHs3.
Final consumption exp. of general government3.
Gross fixed capital formation-3.4-3.7-3.7-2.60.6-5.86.3
Total employed0.3-0.6-0.1-0.10.1-0.1-0.3
Total man-hours worked-0.9-1.20.2-


Published tables