Continued weak growth Mainland Norway
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
Quarterly national accounts show figures for the Norwegian economy. GDP Mainland Norway had a seasonally-adjusted volume growth of 0.3 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2016.

National accountsDecember 2016



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Continued weak growth Mainland Norway

Growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) for mainland Norway was 0.3 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2016, slightly up from the 3rd quarter.

Quarterly National Accounts. Seasonally adjusted change in volume from the previous period. Per cent1
20161st quarter 20162nd quarter 20163rd quarter 20164th quarter 2016
1Figures from 2015 onwards are preliminary.
Gross domestic product1.01.4-0.1-0.61.1
Gross domestic product Mainland Norway0.
Petroleum activities and ocean transport1.86.1-2.3-3.24.3
Final domestic use of goods and services1.82.6-0.2-1.01.3
Final consumption expenditure of households and NPISH1.
Final consumption expenditure of general government2.
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF)
Total exports-1.2-1.1-1.10.4-1.3
Total imports0.31.6-1.8-0.5-1.5
Employed persons0.
Total hours worked0.30.1-

The largest contribution to growth in mainland GDP in the 4th quarter of last year was from building and construction activities. Activity growth in this industry has been very high over the past two years, and seasonally-adjusted figures show that the gross product increased by 1.7 per cent in the 4th quarter. For the year, overall production increased in construction by 3.7 per cent.

Seasonally-adjusted figures show a slight increase in production in manufacturing and mining after a continuous decline since the 3rd quarter of 2014. There were increases in many manufacturing industries at the end of last year and the highest growth was in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries, while weak growth in the food industry pulled the figure down. Despite the positive figures in the 4th quarter, activity in manufacturing and mining fell by 4.5 per cent from 2015 to 2016.

Value added in service industries excluding general government has largely increased throughout 2016, but with a modest 0.2 per cent growth in the 4th quarter. Clear growth in several industry groups and especially hotel and food service activities contributed to the increase, while the sharp decline in services related to oil and gas extraction dampened the growth. Value added in the public sector increased by 0.7 per cent in 4th quarter and by 2 per cent from 2015 to 2016.

Value added in the petroleum sector increased by 4.6 per cent in 4th quarter after declining in the previous two quarters. This contributed to the total GDP increasing by 1.1 per cent in this quarter. For the year 2016, GDP rose overall by 1 per cent.

Clear growth in household consumption in 4th quarter

After weak growth in the previous two quarters, household consumption increased by 0.7 per cent in the 4th quarter. Consumption of goods increased by 0.6 per cent, after having mostly fallen since the 3rd quarter of 2015. Increased car purchases contributed to more than half of the rise in household consumption of goods. Consumption of services also grew by 0.6 per cent in the 4th quarter, the same as the previous quarter, but slightly less than in the first half of 2016. Household consumption grew by 1.6 per cent in 2016, compared to 2.1 per cent in 2015.

Higher investments

Gross investments in the mainland industries rose by 2.6 per cent in the 4th quarter, and the annual average increase was 2.8 per cent higher than the year before. Investment in manufacturing industries increased in the 4th quarter after falling in the previous two quarters. Much of the increase was in manufacturing basic chemicals. Manufacturing and mining grew by 4.7 per cent in 2016, after falling 7.8 per cent the year before. Investments in general government were significantly higher in 2016 than in 2015, but fell in the 4th quarter of 2016.

Household investment in dwellings increased by 2.7 per cent in the 4th quarter after a sharp rise from early 2015. Investments in dwellings rose by 9.9 per cent from 2015 to 2016.

Preliminary calculations show that petroleum investment grew by 3.6 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2016 after a continuous decline since the 3rd quarter of 2013. These investments fell by 14.7 per cent in 2016 after a similar fall in 2015.

Continued decline in exports of traditional goods

Exports of traditional goods fell throughout 2016, and the decline was 8.6 per cent in the 4th quarter. It was mainly refined products that contributed to the decline in the 4th quarter, but there was also a decline in the volume of exports of fish and fish products. For the year, we see that there has been a marked decline in exports of machinery and equipment, and this contributed to the export of traditional goods falling by 8.2 per cent from 2015 to 2016.

Preliminary calculations show that exports fell by 1.7 per cent in the 4th quarter, partly as a result of slightly lower tourism to Norway after record figures for the 3rd quarter. Despite an increase in exports of oil and gas, the total export volume fell 1.3 per cent in the 3rd quarter. As an annual average, the overall exports fell by 1.2 per cent in 2016.

Imports of traditional goods were broadly unchanged in the 4th quarter, after falling in the previous two quarters, while imports of services increased by 1 per cent. Total imports of goods and services rose by 0.3 per cent in 2016.

Weak wage growth

Preliminary calculations show that employment increased by 0.1 per cent, or about 3 900 people in the 4th quarter. This weak growth is in line with the trend throughout 2016 following a weak employment trend in 2015. In the same period, the total hours worked increased by 0.2 per cent. Employment and hours worked increased by 0.1 and 0.3 per cent respectively from 2015 to 2016.

The declining wage growth that we have seen in recent years will continue, and estimates for 2016 show that the average annual wage growth was 1.7 per cent. Annual wage growth varies between industry groups. Wage growth in general government shows a growth of 2.4 per cent, while for the manufacturing and mining industry, the average rise was 1.6 per cent. Much of the low growth in annual earnings can be explained by a reduction in the number employed in industries with high wage levels, such as petroleum-related activities.

Figures for the 1st to 3rd quarter 2015 have been revised

In connection with the release of figures for the fourth quarter of 2016, new information has been incorporated for all quarters from the first quarter of 2016. The seasonally-adjusted GDP for mainland Norway has been revised upwards by 0.1 percentage points in the 2nd quarter and correspondingly down in the 3rd quarter compared with the previous publication. For an overview of the revisions in the main aggregates in the last quarters see table 48.

For more information on compilation methods and seasonal adjustment practice see About the statistics (link) and On seasonal adjustment of the quarterly national accounts (link).

For an overview of the development in the GDP of some of our trading partners see the OECD statistics.

How the figures are calculatedOpen and readClose

The sum of four quarters in the Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) makes up the preliminary annual figures until the Annual National Accounts (ANA) for year t are published in November in year t+2 and incorporated as a new base year in the QNA. Hence, 2011 is the base year in the QNA when publishing data in May 2014.

In both the ANA and QNA, the figures stripped of movements in prices are referred to as volume changes, or fixed price estimates in the QNA, and this is done to identify the underlying cyclical pattern of the economy.

Note that in the time series in volume, the figures from the base year and onwards are fixed price figures, while data prior to the base year are chained volume figures. This implies that additivity in volume is lost prior to the base year.