Slowest GDP Growth in the Nineties
National accounts and business cycles
knr, National accounts, gross domestic product, GDP, value added, gross product by industry, gross investments, household consumption, consumption in non-profit organisations, public consumption, material production, service production, export, import, wage costs, employment, man-hours, oil investments, mainland NorwayNational accounts , National accounts and business cycles

National accountsDecember 1999



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Slowest GDP Growth in the Nineties

The first national accounts estimates for 1999 show a positive development in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the threshold of 2000. According to seasonally adjusted figures, the growth of GDP was 0.9 percent from the 3rd to the 4th quarter. A growth rate for 1999 on 0,8 percent is, however, much weaker than in the previous years

Preliminary figures from the national accounts show a declining growth in total consumption and increased surplus in the balance of trade with goods and services. Consumption in households and Non Profit Institutions Serving Households (NPISHs) increased by 2.1 per cent, while the corresponding growth in the government's consumption was 2.5 percent. A decrease in gross capital formation of 8.5 per cent in 1999 relative to 1998, gave a negative contribution to the development in GDP. Seasonally adjusted figures show an increase in total gross fixed capital formation from the 2nd to the 3rd quarter, while for all the other quarters in 1999 there were a decrease compared to the previous quarter.

The price index for GDP was higher in 1999 than for many years. The preliminary figures show an increase for the year 1999 of 6.6 per cent. The development in GDP deflator was strongly influenced by the sharp rise in the price for exports of petroleum. For consumption in households and NPISHs prices increased by 2.1 per cent in 1999. I comparison, the corresponding growth rate was 2.6 per cent in 1998. In value terms the GDP increased by 7.4 per cent from 1998 to 1999, much higher than the year before.

Continuos increase in consumption

With a growth rate of 1.4 per cent in volume, households' consumption of goods increased more moderately than in the previous years. Households' consumption of services, except accommodation services, grew by 3.9 per cent and contributed to a growth in households total consumption of 2.2 per cent from 1998 to 1999. Seasonally adjusted figures for the growth rate in households' consumption from quarter to quarter show the weakest growth rate in the 3rd quarter and the strongest growth rate in the 2nd quarter.

Final consumption for central government increased by 1.6 per cent in volume from 1998 to 1999. This growth rate is clearly more moderate than in the year before. For local government final consumption increased by 3.1 per cent in 1999.

Preliminary National Accounts Figures for 1999. Per cent change in volume
from same quarter last year and from previous quarter (sesonally adjusted)
  1999 4nd quarter 1999 4nd quarter 1999
(sesonally adjusted)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 0,8 2,2 0,9
Mainland-Norway 0,8 1,6 0,7
Oil activities and ocean transport 0,5 5,3 1,5
Final domestic uses -0,8 -2,6 -2,3
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs      2,1 2,9 0,7
Final consumption expenditure of general government 2,5 3,1 1,5
Gross fixed capital formation -7,0 -14,2 -9,1
Exports 0,6 5,9 6,0
Imports -3,6 -6,4 -2,0
Current account (NOK billions) 43,8 26,6  
Employed persons, self-employed and employees 0,5 0,4  

Reduced investments

For many industries there were a noticeable decrease in gross fixed capital formation from 1998 to 1999. The petroleum industries, including services related to oil and gas extraction and transport via pipelines, reduced their gross fixed capital formation by 14.0 per cent in volume from 1998 to 1999. Seasonally adjusted figures show that the decline from the previous quarter was strongest in the 4th quarter. Gross fixed capital formation in the manufacturing industries dropped nearly 25 per cent in 1999, while the fall from the previous quarter was most significant in the 1st quarter. Also in construction investments in 1999 was significantly lower that in the year before. Gross fixed capital formation in dwelling services went down by 2.8 per cent from 1998 to 1999. For some of the service industries there were, however, a continuing increase in gross fixed capital formation in 1999.

Increased surplus on the current account

The exports of crude oil and natural gas in volume improved in the 4th quarter, for the year 1999 there was however an slight reduction of 0.3 per cent. Export of ships and oil platforms also went down form 1998 to 1999, but these reductions were more than compensated by increased exports of traditional goods. Reduced imports of goods contributed to a reduction in total import of 3.6 per cent from 1998 to 1999, and to a further increase of the surplus on the balance of trade.

In value terms, the trade with goods and services resulted in a surplus of 69.4 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK) in 1999, an increase of 66.9 billion NOK from the year before. The deficit on the balance of interest and transfers increased however to 25.6 billion NOK in 1999, and the current account ended up with a surplus of 43.8 billion NOK.

Reduced output in manufacturing industries, but increased production in service industries

Total output increased by 1.2 per cent in volume in 1999 relative to 1998. In 1998 the corresponding growth rate was 2.5 per cent. The growth rates in 1999 varied between different industries. Some of the service industries showed a continuing rise in the activity in 1999, while output in construction and most industries in manufacturing, mining and quarrying was reduced. Extraction of crude oil and natural gas increased by 0.5 per cent in volume from 1998 to 1999, and output in general government went up by 2.6 per cent.

Moderate increase in employment

The preliminary figures from the national accounts show a slight increase in employment from 1998 to 1999. Employed persons went up by 0.5 per cent, while preliminary calculations show a more moderate increase in hours worked. The difference in the growth rates between employment measured in persons and hours worked is mainly due to an increase in absence. As for output, there are certain differences between the development in employment in different industries. In manufacturing industries and some other goods producing industries employment was reduced in 1999, while some of the service producing industries showed a continuing increase.