Dampened growth in mainland economy
National accounts and business cycles
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National accountsDecember 2012



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Dampened growth in mainland economy

Foreign and domestic demand, excluding petroleum activities, grew modestly in the 4th quarter of 2012. The gross domestic product (GDP) of mainland Norway was up 0.3 per cent in the 4th quarter.

Gross domestic product. Seasonally adjusted change in volum. Per cent
2011 - 20121st quarter 2012 - 2nd quarter 20122nd quarter 2012 - 3rd quarter 20123rd quarter 2012 - 4th quarter 2012
Gross domestic product3.20.8-0.60.4
Gross domestic product Mainland Norway3.
Petroleum activities and ocean transport1.91.2-6.01.0
Final domestic use of goods and services3.
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISHs12.
Final consumption expenditure of general governmen2.
Gross fixed capital formation8.
Total exports2.20.4-3.5-0.1
Total imports3.31.7-0.21.3
Employed persons2.
Total hours worked2.

The modest growth at the end of last year must be viewed in conjunction with the strong 0.8 per cent increase in the 3rd quarter of 2012. A decline in the production of electricity contributed in isolation to a fall of 0.1 percentage points in mainland Norway’s GDP in the 4th quarter of 2012. Total GDP grew by 0.4 per cent, helped by an increase in petroleum activities from the 3rd to the 4th quarter, according to seasonally and calendar-adjusted volume figures.

Increase in service activities - decline in goods production

The strong growth in service industries continued in the 4th quarter of 2012. The main contributions were from technical, administrative and support service activities, information and communication, and financial and insurance activities. Value added in general government rose by 0.4 per cent in the 4th quarter, mainly due to growth in local government.

Value added in manufacturing and mining fell by 0.5 per cent from the 3rd to the 4th quarter. Commodity-based manufacturing contributed negatively, while machinery and shipbuilding industries rose. Other goods production industries fell by 0.7 per cent, primarily due to the fall in the production of electricity. Traditional fisheries showed marked growth and construction increased by 0.4 per cent.

Slow consumption growth

Final consumption expenditure of households grew by a modest 0.3 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2012. Consumption of services rose by 0.6 per cent after marked growth in the 3rd quarter, while consumption of goods fell by 0.1 per cent both in the 3rd and 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter, durable goods like motor vehicles and household appliances were down, whereas non-durable goods like the consumption of electricity and food and beverages were on the rise.

Household consumption abroad has been rising strongly for a long time. From the 3rd to the 4th quarter, the growth was 2.3 per cent, and contributed to half of the growth in total household consumption expenditure.

Increased investments

Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) was up by 1 per cent from the 3rd to the 4th quarter of 2012. There was an increase of GFCF in extraction of crude oil and natural gas and in general government, while mainland Norway excluding general government fell by 1.2 per cent. GFCF in dwellings was nearly unchanged from the 3rd quarter.

Higher imports

Total export was about the same from the 3rd to the 4th quarter. Export of traditional goods fell by 1.4 per cent. A decline was seen for commodity-based products, amongst others. The fall in the export of electricity served in isolation to pull down the growth in the export of traditional goods by 1.1 percentage points. Export of services grew by 5.2 per cent, which was primarily related to petroleum activities.

Total imports grew by 1.3 per cent, with a marked growth in the import of services, and a decline of 0.8 per cent in the import of traditional goods.

Increased employment

Employment grew by 0.3 per cent in the 4th quarter, down from 0.4 per cent in the 3rd quarter. Total hours worked grew by 0.5 per cent. The growth in average annual earnings for the year 2012 is calculated to 4 per cent. For more information on annual earnings and preliminary annual figures for 2012, please see separate article .


When compiling figures for the 4th quarter, the other quarters in 2012 have been subject to revisions due to the incorporation of new information. For an overview of revisions in the main aggregates, please see the table "Revised figures of final expenditure and gross domestic product. Percentage change in volume" on the table page . The seasonally-adjusted figures are revised from the 1st quarter of 2009 and onwards, in accordance with our seasonal adjustment routines. For more information on compilation methods and seasonal adjustment practice, please see About the statistics  and On seasonal adjustment of the quarterly national accounts