General government, financial assets and liabilities

Updated: 12 March 2024

Next update: 13 June 2024

General government net financial assets in per cent of GDP
General government net financial assets in per cent of GDP
4th quarter 2023
General Government. Financial assets and liabilities. NOK billion
General Government. Financial assets and liabilities. NOK billion
4th quarter 20214th quarter 20224th quarter 2023
Total assets16 71117 44220 833
Total liabilities2 0702 4122 595
Net financial assets14 64115 03018 239
Net financial assets, Per cent of GDP338.6263.3355.6
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • General, central and local government. Assets and liabilities. NOK billion
    General, central and local government. Assets and liabilities. NOK billion
    4th quarter 20214th quarter 20224th quarter 2023
    General government
    Total assets16 71117 44220 833
    Total liabilities2 0702 4122 595
    Net financial assets14 64115 03018 239
    Central government
    Total assets16 15216 89220 285
    Total liabilities1 3341 6371 761
    Net financial assets14 81815 25618 524
    Local government
    Total assets588580579
    Total liabilities765805864
    Net financial assets-177-226-285
    Explanation of symbols
  • General Government. Financial assets and liabilities by financial object. NOK billion
    General Government. Financial assets and liabilities by financial object. NOK billion
    4th quarter 20214th quarter 20224th quarter 2023
    TOTAL ASSETS16 71117 44220 833
    Currency and deposits559524485
    Bonds3 5283 9704 687
    Loans9871 2021 526
    Shares and other equity10 85210 74813 264
    Other accounts receivable785999872
    TOTAL LIABILITIES2 0702 4122 595
    Loans1 1251 3451 512
    Other accounts payable268342339
    NET FINANCIAL ASSETS14 64115 03018 239
    Explanation of symbols
  • General government gross debt (Maastricht debt). Nominal values
    General government gross debt (Maastricht debt). Nominal values
    NOK BillionPercentage of GDP
    4th quarter 201490028.5
    4th quarter 20151 03933.2
    4th quarter 20161 15337.0
    4th quarter 20171 24637.5
    4th quarter 20181 39038.9
    4th quarter 20191 43539.9
    4th quarter 20201 56445.2
    4th quarter 20211 78941.4
    4th quarter 20222 08436.5
    4th quarter 20232 27144.3
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics provides information on financial assets and liabilities in the central and local government sectors. The assets and liabilities are classified by financial objects.

Net financial assets

Net financial assets correspond to financial assets minus liabilities.

Net borrowing/lending

Net borrowing/lending is defined as net acquisition of financial assets less net incurrence of liabilities.

Net revaluations

Revaluations are mainly capital gains or losses due to changes in market prices of financial instruments.

Change in net financial assets:

Changes in net financial assets from one period to the next are explained by net borrowing/lending and net revaluations.

General government gross debt according to the Maastricht definition

The Maastricht criteria are a set of economic and legal requirements that EU member countries must meet in order to join the Economic and Monetary Union and adopt the euro as their currency. One of the criteria is related to the total debt in the general government, stating that it should not exceed 60 percent of the country's GDP. Total debt according to the Maastricht criteria includes only marketable securities, which are certificate and bond loans, as well as loans. Other obligations, such as financial derivatives and trade credits, are not included.

In the national accounts' financial statements and in statistics on public finances, debt is primarily valued at market price. However, when measuring debt according to the Maastricht criteria, the nominal value is the basis. The nominal value is the amount that the issuer (debtor) is obligated to pay to the holder (creditor) upon maturity, which is the redemption price. In the statistical tables, this debt measured in this way is referred to as gross public debt.

General government

The statistics cover the general government with the sub-sectors central and local government. The sector comprises non-market-oriented activities that are directly managed and controlled by central government political and administrative authorities. Non-market-oriented activities will here mean that it is primarily financed by taxes and fees - and not by sales revenue.

Central government

The sector includes non-market-oriented activities that are directly managed and controlled by central government political and administrative authorities. Examples of units within this sector include the parliament, the ministries, the directorates, supervisory bodies, the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Agency, the Norwegian Tax Administration, the Armed Forces, the Police, the courts, the universities, the health institutions and the Government Pension Fund Global. The state's business operations, state-owned enterprises and state loan institutions are not considered part of the central government.

Local government

This sector includes municipalities, county councils and joint church councils. In addition, the sector includes municipal enterprises, county municipal enterprises and inter-municipal cooperation, if these operate non-market-oriented activities. Most management companies are found within water and sewage, waste disposal, services related to property management, public administration, health services, library and museum operations as well as within the operation of sports and sports facilities.

National accounting standards

The statistics are based on the guidelines for financial accounting in the national accounting standards System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) and European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010), as well as the IMF's Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014).

Sector classification

Each institutional sector comprises institutional units with broadly similar behaviour. The institutional units are grouped into mutually exclusive institutional sectors on the basis of economic activity, organizational structure and ownership. Institutional units are autonomous entities that are capable, in their own right, of owning assets, incurring liabilities and engaging in economic activities and in transactions with other entities. In most cases, the institutional unit is identical to the legal unit or persons or groups of persons in the form of households.

The institutional sector classification in the financial accounts is based on the recommendations of the SNA 2008 and ESA 2010.

The classification of financial assets and liabilities

The statistics contain a limited number of financial instrument groups. The financial instruments are grouped in claim and debt items with similar economic functions. Classification of the financial instrument groups is based on the recommendations of the SNA 2008 and ESA 2010. The classifications are described below.

Certificates and treasury bills

A certificate is a tradable security with a maturity period not exceeding one year. Treasury bills are a type of certificate issued by Norges Bank on behalf of the Norwegian government.


Bonds are tradable financial instruments that serve as debt certificates. Bonds have a maturity period of more than one year.


The object includes forms of loan other than negotiable debt securities. This also includes so-called repo loans, i.e. loans linked to repurchase agreements.

Shares (Quoted and unquoted)

Quoted shares are equity instruments that are listed on a stock exchange. Unqouted shares are equity instruments that are not listed on a stock exchange.

Other equity/capital contribution

This category includes other forms of equity than those classified as shares. Examples include the state's capital in state-owned enterprises (Statkraft SF, Statnett SF, etc.) and the fixed capital in the state's financial engagement in petroleum activities (SDØE).

Insurance technical reserves

In this statistics, insurance technical reserves include claims between the central and local government and pension funds and other pension institutions.

Other accounts receivable/payable

Comprise claims and debt that is due to differences in timing between transactions and payments. For example, credit extended to a customer/supplier credit, deferred tax claims/liabilities.

Central government debt

Table 05830 in the statistics database displays the central government's debt according to the definitions provided by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Norway. Unlike other tables, this table is not based on international standards. For instance, it does not include loans taken by other entities within the general government other than the central government. This means that local government debt is not included in this table.

Name: General government, financial assets and liabilities
Topic: Public sector

13 June 2024

Division for Public Finance

National level only


Eurostat and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

The purpose is to offer comparable time series over a long period of time for the general government's financial assets and liabilities based on the international guidelines for financial accounts. In addition, through the EEA agreement, Norway is obliged to report such statistics to the EU's statistical body - Eurostat.

General government financial assets and liabilities is publised in a new format from 2009 with comparable figures from 1995 to the present.

General government’s financial assets and liablities is part of the national accounting system, which is important for analyzing the economic development. Statistics Norway's macroeconomic models are largely based on national accounts statistics. Other users are Norges Bank, the Ministry of Finance, research institutes and media.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

The statistics are closely linked to the Financial accounts. Both statistics are based on the same data foundation. Consolidated figures are published in General government, receivables and liabilities. This means that receivables and liabilities within and between units within central and local government have been eliminated. In the financial accounts, on the other hand, receivables and liabilities between units in central and local government are shown as unconsolidated - that is, without internal receivables and liabilities positions being eliminated..

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

The statistics are part of the national program for official statistics 2021-2023, main area Public finances.

The population comprises all state, municipal and county municipal administrative bodies limited according to the National Accounts regulations for general government. Public corporations and unincorporated public enterprises (financial or non-financial) are not included.

The financial accounts' database system, FINSE, is used to calculate all figures in these statistics. This database system is based on a number of basic statistics in Statistics Norway, as well as the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (VPS). Important sources are the central government's fiscal account and accounts for municipalities and county municipalities. Information on counterpart and financial instrument group is also used.

In principle, the statistics are based on a total count, but in practice some smaller accounts are not collected due to a lack of resources and a lack of an overview of the population.

The compilation process comprises a long list of reconciliation procedures and consistency checks, which also contributes to the quality assurance of the different statistical sources.

The source statistics may have to be adjusted in order to fulfil the requirements of the financial accounts; first source data have to be adapted to financial accounts data structure; source data are then balanced in the database system. In cases where we have two or more data sources for the same asset relationship, one data serie is selected according to predetermined rules. The most important choice is between creditor and debtor information. Discrepancies occur when there are differences in information given from the creditor and debtor respectively.

Discrepancies can be explained by different definitions or different estimations of value, but can also occur due to errors and shortcomings in the statistical sources. In cases where errors are revealed, this is reported to the division responsible for the compilation of the statistics in question.

Not relevant

Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.

Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

There are comparable figures from 1995 to the present.

The financial accounts are compiled using different statistical sources. The uncertainty in the financial accounts figures is related to the uncertainty in source data and the compilation methods. Since the database system is an integrated system containing many routines for balancing and consistency checks of data, one could assume that the financial accounts help reduce some of the uncertainty in the source data. On the other hand, the financial accounts require compilation of figures in areas where source statistics are very limited or even lacking. The uncertainty can be substantial in these areas.

Figures are revised as new information on financial accounts becomes available. In order to avoid breaks in the timeseries, new data sources are incorporated in previously published years.

Preliminary figures for financial assets and liabilities are released in March after the end of the reference period. At that time, only a small part of the basic information from units in general government has been incorporated. This involves some uncertainty, especially related to calculations of the financial instrument groups “Other receivables and other liabilities”. When the statistics are later updated, these sources are included and uncertainty is reduced.